The Boys With The Black Stuff

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re­leased OUT NOW! 2015 | 15 | DVD

Di­rec­tor Corin Hardy

Cast Joseph Mawle, Bo­jana No­vakovic,

Michael McEl­hat­ton, Michael Smi­ley

The last thing hor­ror fans need right now, surely, is an­other film set in the woods? But this Ir­ish ef­fort man­ages to over­come your ini­tial knee­jerk eye- roll.

When forestry ex­pert Adam ( Joseph Mawle) moves his fam­ily to a re­mote com­mu­nity to com­mence prepa­ra­tions for log­ging, he gets a de­cid­edly frosty re­cep­tion. “The For­est be­longs to the Hallow,” he’s told – and as events spiral out of con­trol and the house is be­sieged by th­ese folk­loric faeries, there’s a dan­ger that soon so will his baby son…

From the wild- eyed neigh­bour with his Il­lus­trated Big Book Of Lore to the use of a cam­era flash to scare off en­croach­ing beast­ies, it all feels rather fa­mil­iar. But it’s also done rather well. Mix­ing mon­ster movie with body hor­ror, it’s at­mo­spheric, suf­fi­ciently tense to keep you hooked, with strong per­for­mances. The shriek­ing Hallow, gen­er­ally only half-glimpsed, are ef­fec­tive mon­sters. Their habit of leav­ing weird piles of slimy black mat­ter – like gnarled roots doused in Cas­trol GTX – is sat­is­fy­ingly shud­der­some, while their pen­chant for pok­ing peo­ple in the eye will keep Lu­cio Fulci fans happy.

Ex­tras A Mak­ing Of ( 49 min­utes); three brief be­hind- thescenes fea­turettes; four gal­leries of stuff like sto­ry­boards and con­cept sketches; trailer. Ian Ber­ri­man

Keep your eyes peeled in the fi­nal scene ( where you see work­ers at a log­ging site) for a cameo by di­rec­tor Corin Hardy.

“I’m not giv­ing th­ese clothes to the char­ity shop!”

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