WHITE SETTLERS [FRIGHTFEST 2014]

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

MOVIE REVIEW: WHITE SETTLERS / CERT 15 / DIRECTOR: SIMEON HALLIGAN / SCREENPLAY: IAN FENTON / STARRING: POLYANNA MCINTOSH, LEE WILLIAMS, JOANNE MITCHELL / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 6TH (LIMITED)

Cult horror lady Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) takes the lead in White Settlers, playing one half of lovely couple Sarah and Ed. Relocating from England to the Scottish borders, they hope that their rustic new home signals an end to their stressful Londoner lives. What they haven't counted on are the angry locals, none too happy with the bloody English taking up residence on their land. As the real-world cry for Scottish independence gathers pace, there has never been more timely a horror film than White Settlers.

Like You're Next crossed with the French home invasion flick Them (Ils – not the one with the ants), mysterious masked antagonists are the order of the day, breaking into Ed and Sarah's home and trussing the poor chap up with duct tape. Sarah flees, and what follows is a deadly game of cat-and-mouse between the terrified but capable Sarah and the cold but slightly useless attackers. McIntosh carries herself well as Sarah, being at once strong, vulnerable, adorable and ever so slightly annoying. Shuffled into the damsel in distress role, Lee Williams is given less to do, but that's fine, as it gives McIntosh more room in the spotlight.

Unfortunately for the actors, director Simeon Halligan and writer Ian Fenton don't go nearly far enough to fully flex anyone's muscles. Although the build-up is well-balanced and maintained – there's a very interesting, subtle dominant/submissive kink to Ed and Sarah's relationship – the action itself is disappointing. Anyone who has seen more than a couple of backwoods horror or home invasion movies will find nothing new during the final hour, from huddled terror in the bushes to surprise bear traps in the shrubbery. It's slick, well-done and occasionally gory, but repetitive nevertheless.

Which is a shame, since White Settlers has plenty of room to do and be something great. The restless Scottish angle could have been more fully explored, the action could have more visceral, the thrills more unpredictable. It's far classier than your average Wrong Turn or Hills Have Eyes movies, but it's not as fun as You're Next, as brutal as Eden Lake or even as enjoyably trashy as, well, Wrong Turn. It's diverting entertainment, buoyed by a great performance from Pollyanna McIntosh (let's see more of her in the genre's future, please) and solid writing and direction from Halligan and Fenton.

A fine slice of homegrown horror, White Settlers is well-made and intelligent, with a little more to say than most. While it flirts with cliché too much to be considered a resounding success, it's still better than the deep-fried crap (yes, alright, including more than a few Wrong Turn sequels) generally being put out these days.

Expected Rating: 7 out of 10

Actual Rating:

 

 


Suggested Articles:
As Kubo and The Two Strings twanged our heartstrings and lit up our soul and while Zootropolis inspi
What do you do when you want to make films but have no money? Be inventive, and make them anyway, th
Boy, they really don’t make movies like this anymore, do they? A love letter to Hollywood, romance
Throughout the years, we have been treated to many video game-to-film monstrosities from Super Mario
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Movie Reviews

SING 23 January 2017

PRETERNATURAL 20 January 2017

LA LA LAND 04 January 2017

ASSASSIN’S CREED 04 January 2017

RAILROAD TIGERS 03 January 2017

THE SNARE 29 December 2016

PASSENGERS 27 December 2016

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY 15 December 2016

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN 08 December 2016

MOANA 03 December 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
 
 
 
 
...
 
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144