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A group of troubled youth and their care workers go to a small village for a weekend of community service work. After an incident with a group of locals ends with one of the care workers being injured, the group heads to town for help, but find horror instead.
Although this gruesome, indie, horror-comedy from the UK is rather slow moving, I found this to be worth watching. The film is full of beautiful scenery and cinematography (especially if you are a gore fan), dark undertones, amusing and engaging (even if many are underdeveloped) characters, and a wonderfully effective soundtrack. Kudos to the film makers for largely using practical effects, with a little CGI. Especially the creative utilization of the shotgun.
On one hand, we have our would-be heroine, Jo Hartley does an excellent job with the material she is given, as Kate, the care worker, who exudes tolerant impatience with a healthy attitude of “why am I surrounded by such stupidity?” James Doherty, as Jeff, gives a rather inconsistent job of “I’m trying too hard to be enthusiastic, patient and connect with you, so I can teach you how to be better people; but really I’m just boring and have no social skills what-so-ever.” The youth are simply stereotypical. We have The Douche, The Follower, The Nice Guy, and The Weak Girl.
The other hand features the cast of unique and eerie locals, lead by Seamus O’Neill, as Jim, boisterous pub owner, ring-master of a morbid circus-like entertainment show, featuring unsuspecting transients. Neil Leiper offers an energetic performance as Gris, Jim’s son, young local miscreant, who gives off a serious creeper vibe, with a lust for violence.
It would have been a more solid film had the characters been more accessible and consistent. There are some places where the character’s dialogue seems incongruent with what the audience knows of their nature. (i.e. Kate scolding the kids for being naughty, then suggesting going to the pub, followed shortly by insisting that she was just joking around with the kids and the care workers shouldn’t be acting like parents.) By the end, I wasn’t sure who to cheer for, the frightful cleverness of the locals or the grisly fate of the youth group.
If you don’t mind a little dry British humor with a dose of “torture porn” in your horror-comedy, you’ll enjoy this. I gave this 2 1/2 Pints. It could have been better, but it was entertaining.