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Stars: Ben Daniels, Dervla Kirwan, Michael Maloney, Stephanie Leonidas, Maurice Roeves, Katia Winter

Director: Dave McKean

Fantasy meets reality on the windswept, wintry north Devon coast, in a labour of love from top children's book illustrator McKean, whose previous film MirrorMask was equally individual.

Initial animation segues into live-action as Grant (Daniels) and Christine (Kerwan), still grieving over the loss of their young son, make their way to the coastside home of Dean (Maloney), a friend from 20 years back, and his current partner Freya (Leonidas).

Fuelled by alcohol, skeletons are soon tumbling from cupboards, as bitter memories resurface over a long wekend. Grant and Christine wander through papier-maché nightmares, most of which contain a representation of their lost son.

The film certainly has its own style, but our interest is fitful and the four characters never fully rounded. The tragedy of the fourth member of their original quartet is only touched upon, when perhaps a closer study could have lent body to the gossamer narrative. The director tantalises us with glimpses of her, but she remains on the edges of his frame.

In the end, despite its style, McKean's film, though long in the gestation (it began as long ago as 2007) amounts to not very much in the way of drama.

I am now on holiday for a fortnight. Back reviewing on 15th October.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Luna Productions. Colour by Panalux.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 29 Sep 2014