Outcast

"OK"

Outcast Review


Creepy and atmospheric, this low-budget thriller works primarily because it never over-explains its twisty, grisly premise. And strong performances from the cast manage to emerge despite an extremely murky visual style.

Mary (Dickie) has fled Ireland with her 15-year-old son Fergal (Bruton) and settled in a squalid Edinburgh housing estate, where she immediately starts scrawling protection spells on the walls in her own blood. And there's good reason, as the shady Cathal (Nesbitt) is hot on her trail, travelling with his brother Liam (McMenamin) under orders to "kill the boy". Despite this, Fergal tries to be a normal teen and spark a romance with his new neighbour Petronella (Stanbridge). But there's a beast on the loose and, quite literally, hell to pay.

The supernatural elements of this story are cleverly underplayed by the McCarthy brothers' script. They keep the film earthy and gritty, and also rather yucky as things get increasingly violent. By shooting mainly in very deep shadows, scenes are swamped in blackness (or sometimes bleached in sunlight). We can only see glimmers of people in the gloom, their sweaty skin glistening in what looks like candle-light. It's somewhat annoying not to be able to see things more clearly, but this approach does contribute to a seriously unsettling tone that keeps us on edge.

It also helps that the narrative is fairly simple, unencumbered by rambling exposition or distracting subplots. This allows us to get fully consumed by the situation, so we begin to worry along with Mary about Fergal's fate. On the other hand, it's not too difficult to predict where the film is heading, although some scenes do catch us off guard. And the cast members all give fully vested performances.

The McCarthys inventively use their actors to help crank up the tension while keeping things both scary and emotional. They also indulge in some gothic horror nastiness. In the end, the film's lack of real subtext keeps it from becoming a classic. Even Fergal's more-tortured-than-usual teen angst never quite boils over into something unexpected. Although his mother's warning to "stay away from girls" starts to feel unexpectedly sinister.



Outcast

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th December 2010

Distributed by: Fantastic Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Colm McCarthy

Producer: Eddie Dick, Brendan McCarthy, John McDonnell


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...

Cub Movie Review

Cub Movie Review

At a time when horror movies seem to only want to make the audience jump,...

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Advertisement
Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Advertisement