Synopsis: An Irish town hosts its annual literature and poetry festival, and widower Michael Farr (the incomparable Ciarán Hinds) volunteers to serve as a driver for Lena Morrell (Iben Hjejle), a horror/ghost novelist who has seen ghosts since she was a child. When Farr begins to see the ghost of his father-in-law (very much alive), he begins to question his sanity.
Leslie’s Review: Amazon lists this as a horor film. IMDB lists this as a horror film. Though it made me jump (more than once), it’s really more atmospheric than scary. I would describe it as a bittersweet ghost story about a family trying to heal after the loss of their wife and mother. I even teared up toward the end.
Though it’s not traditionally horrifying, the solid camera work gives the film a creepy vibe. From noticeably stark angles to a concentrated use of silhouettes, it’s a beautifully shot film. I don’t suppose it hurts that it was filmed on location at the Irish seaside.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s blood (copious amounts at one point), and zombie-like ghosts, but the plot and emotions of the main characters supersede the supernatural elements. My only complaint is character development. By the end, I had no questions about Farr, but I wanted to know more about Morrell’s past, more about the ghosts she sees and about why. Additionally, the antagonist, Nicholas Holden (played by the always delightful Aidan Quinn) was a run of the mill, belligerent, drunk, cheating, pompous guy. I wish his character had more depth. it’s cool that he’s terrible, but I want more motivation for his terribleness.
This film is free for Prime members right now, so if you like Ciarán Hinds and like your horror movies sans horror, give it a go. Otherwise, skip it.
Director: Conor McPherson