Black­wood

Brit chiller is a hoot

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - DVD & Blu-Ray -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2014 | 15 | DVD Direc­tor: Adam Wim­penny Cast: Ed Stop­pard, Sophia Myles, Paul Kaye, Rus­sell Tovey, Isaac An­drews

Would you

trust a vicar who looks like Paul Kaye in full- on Thoros of Myr mode? Ben ( Ed Stop­pard) cer­tainly doesn’t. He moves his fam­ily into a house in the coun­try. Both he and wife Rachel ( Sophia Myles) hope that a fresh start will help heal the wounds left by his re­cent break­down.

Un­for­tu­nately, the lo­cals are an edgy, weird lot. There’s a surly pub land­lord, and Jack ( Rus­sell Tovey), who hangs around in the woods. Haunted by vi­sions of a spec­tral child in an owl mask, Ben be­comes con­vinced that he’s stum­bled onto a con­spir­acy. Or a haunt­ing. Or both, he’s not re­ally sure.

Clichéd? Sure – but TV direc­tor Adam Wim­penny’s fea­ture de­but is as­sured and en­gag­ing. It strad­dles the line be­tween ghost story and cult thriller neatly. Myles is good, and Kaye is great – bring­ing both men­ace and world- weary charm to the ex- squad­die- who- found- God, Fa­ther Pa­trick.

The plot is a lit­tle over­cooked. Per­haps con­cerned that the premise is too familiar, the film chucks in a num­ber of twists, not all of which con­vince. It’s au­then­ti­cally creepy, though, and the ex­cel­lent cin­e­matog­ra­phy con­jures an ap­pro­pri­ately haunted at­mos­phere.

Ex­tras: There’s a cheery 15- minute Mak­ing Of, while Adam Wim­penny pro­vides an en­joy­able com­men­tary track, but the high­light is his Rus­sell Tovey- star­ring short, “Roar”. Will Salmon

The bank’s hold mu­sic al­ways got the same re­ac­tion.

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