Troubled Sean Harris returns to his Norfolk roots in this creepy psychological drama. 3/5 stars
Best known to blockbuster fans as anarchist villain Solomon Lane in the last two Mission: Impossible films, Harris is on impressive form in this British indie movie from writer-director Matthew Holness, co-creator of cult TV horror spoof Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
Holness conjures up a very different mood, however, with this unsettling psychological drama, which sees Harris's deeply troubled loner, Philip, returning to the gloomy Norfolk flatlands of his childhood.
He carries around with him a brown holdall, repeatedly trying and repeatedly failing to dispose of the hauntingly monstrous thing it contains.
Possibly even creepier, however, is Philip's leering Uncle Maurice, played with slimy menace by Alun Armstrong.
Both represent the traumatic past that Philip is struggling to confront and overcome. Uncommitted viewers will be put off by the deliberately slow-moving and repetitive structure, but Holness and his lead actor sustain the film's hallucinatory atmosphere - with the aid of unnerving sound design by the Radiophonic Workshop of Doctor Who fame.
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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