Curious movie this one, and one defiantly not to be taken on face value. Director Nick Cohen has created a beautiful looking film with storyline which can leave your mind tangled and disturbed, questioning reality of time, motive and ethics. Somewhat Lynchian in its un-telling approach to cohesive storyline, it will leave you questioning character actions and frame time for some time after your viewing. It’s certainly left me wanting to view again to try to uncover further hidden meaning, something missed on the first event.
The plot, as far as can be explained rationally, follows a group of friends on a weekend boating trip in the Fens; a part of the UK which is mainly marsh land with plenty of reeds for things to hide in. The trip is plagued by some temperament of characters, aggravated by some creepy teens hanging out in the reeds causing bother. So this all sounds straightforward; Unruly youths cause trouble with holidaying city folk. Ala Deliverance, Chainsaw, Eden lake etc. But here we have something different. Once out in the reeds, strange things begin to happen. Time is not as it seems and actions happen out of kilter and this humble film of ‘happy-slappy’ turns into an ambitious ghost story with some memorable spooky scenes.
The main cast here as regular TV actors from the British screens. Some are much better than others but over all, I was surprised at the overall collective ability. Some I’ve disliked in the past, but certainly won me over here. Notable, Will Mellor, Karl Ashman, Emma Catherwood and Scarlett Alice Johnson. Great performances from Geoff Bell and Anna Brewster. Hats off to Dennis Madden as DP for making the film look glorious and atmospheric which truly is the films strength. The plot does go astray at times but as long as it looks great, I’m willing to see it through and think about connotations and relevance later.
Another important point to mention here is the films moral conundrum which leaves the viewer questioning whose in the right or wrong here. A recluse tormented by youths acts outside of the law. Is this favourable? Are we sympathetic towards the tormentors, now victims? Plenty of room for debate here and defiantly not a straightforward run of the mill film.