The town that dreaded Liam

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - TARA BRADY TARA BRADY

grunts and an un­cle who acted as cap­tor. Again and again, we en­counter a wil­ful re­luc­tance to en­gage in any mean­ing­ful way with the past. One par­tic­u­larly re­sis­tant in­ter­vie­wee dis­misses any at­tempt to an­a­lyse his atroc­i­ties as “pol­i­tics”.

Our hero doesn’t ap­pear to be ask­ing for an apol­ogy. He seems merely to want an ac­knowl­edg­ment of un­de­ni­able truths. We al­ready knew about the hu­man ap­petite for evil. The Look of Si­lence ad­dresses some­thing more slip­pery and ba­nal: our end­less ca­pac­ity for eva­sion.

Not to be missed. Triebel’s clever and fre­quently car­nal per­for­mance. Work­ing from Ju­lia Franck’s novel Lager­feuer, Heide Sch­wo­chow’s (the direc­tor’s mother) screen­play ef­fec­tively dis­tils the com­plex­ity of Ger­man bor­der cross­ing dur­ing the 1970s into fam­ily drama.

Still, Nelly’s psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­in­te­gra­tion sees her lose all her em­pa­thy, even for her son. The viewer may be in­clined to fol­low suit. LET US PREY Di­rected by Brian O’Mal­ley. Star­ring Liam Cun­ning­ham, Pollyanna McIn­tosh, Bryan Larkin, Hanna Stan­bridge. 18 cert, gen­eral re­lease, 92 min Rachel (Pollyanna McIn­tosh) is the new­est re­cruit to the lo­cal po­lice force in a re­mote west High­lands town. It does not take Rachel long to make her first ar­rest; a young ne’er-do- well joyrides into a mys­te­ri­ous bearded stranger, who seems to van­ish into the night air.

Things go from weird to weirder when the “vic­tim” (Liam Cun­ning­ham) reap­pears in the lo­cal sta­tion. We quickly glean that this par­tic­u­lar po­lice sta­tion and this par­tic­u­lar town is pop­u­lated by all kinds of psychos. Stay tuned for mu­ti­la­tion, can­ni­bal­ism, may­hem and se­ri­ous Grand Guig­nol.

Against this, there is the stranger. Is he the devil? Is he the grim reaper? We’re not en­tirely sure about the job de­scrip­tion, but it’s clear he’s here for some kind of di­vine ret­ri­bu­tion.

You’ll have to roll along with Ir­ish di­rec­tors Brian O’Mal­ley’s de­but fea­ture. Just when the viewer thinks things can’t get any more baroque, they do. Just when you imag­ine the peo­ple on­screen couldn’t be more evil, they are.

The blood­work is ketchup-y. The per­for­mances are big. The dark­ness never ends.

Hobo with a shot at gun­ning ev­ery­one down: Liam Cun­ning­ham

Work­ing with wun­derkind cine­matog­ra­pher Piers McGrail, O’Mal­ley keeps the car­nage com­ing and images mem­o­rable. Steve Lynch’s post-John Car­pen­ter score adds to the crazy.

Let Us Prey won’t be for ev­ery­one. But splat­ter-hounds will get their money’s worth.

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