Script: Stephen Massicotte
Cast: Aibigal Stone, Maria Bello, Sean Bean, Sophie Stuckey
Setting: New Zealand
Rated : 8 Stars
With atmospheric camera work over waves the opening credits of this film make way for Adele and her daughter Sarah as they drive through a remote part of Wales, looking for Sarah’s father’s house. They arrived early, and are now quite lost. Even forced to spending the night in the car when night falls and the car gets stuck in the mood. Cue a dream sequence where Adele dreams of being pushed off the nearby cliff. She wakes, face to face with a herd of sheep staring through the window. Enough to make anyone jump.
Eventually they make it to James’ house, he is an artist and has plans to turn the abattoir attached to the house into a studio. As if the big old ramshackle house isn’t creepy enough, we have to have an abbatoir?
Anyways, I found a lot to like in this film. Bello and Bean are believable as concerned, possibly divorced, parents. I was a bit doubtful about Sean Bean’s haircut, but he is very adorable as the doting daddy :) if under used. But Bello is slightly off at times, which may, or may not be intended. And the girl who plays the mysterious Ebill is very good. So no complaints on the acting side of things. There is a nice little atmosphere built up throughout the first half of the film. It isn’t really jump out of your skin terror, but just a vague unease. And let me tell you, sheep are evil. But I’m sure it was some feat of animal handling to get those skittish sheep to act in such a strange manner.
But overall the film doesn’t really do its job. Its a bit too open as to what is going on. And things that I’m sure would have worked in a book aren’t translated too well on the screen. Still the ending is worth waiting for, and I enjoyed the 95 minutes or so that I spent watching it. And I wouldn’t object to watching it again.
If you go looking for scares you won’t enjoy it, and there is too much time spent trying to be all “Japanese horror” about it, so my enjoyment may not be shared by all.