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Tara Lynne O'Neill,
The film premiered at TIFF in Toronto in September 2018. See more »
Dark Murder Mystery
The Dig: This film deserves to be seen as Folk Horror due to how a Fairy Tree in a circle of stones influence the progression of its narrative. Ronan (Moe Dunford) returns to a dilapidated farmhouse which is adjacent to bogland. A man is digging on the bog, sections staked out with flags. Seán (Lorcan Cranitch) is searching for his lost daughter, Ronan recently released from prison was convicted of her murder. At first the two clash violently but Ronan joins in the dig as he has no memory of the night of the murder due to being drunk. Seán's daughter Roberta (Emily Taafe) also reluctantly accepts Ronan's presence, they had once been friends and perhaps more. But the relationship between the three is an ongoing rollercoaster of emotions. There is also violence from locals and the local police chief Murphy (Francis Magee).
This film seems to be set in the border counties of Ireland, yet it is a not-Ireland, neither North or South. Murphy, heavily bearded, always in rough plain clothes, a pistol at his hip, is more like a Sheriff. Maintaining the law with his boots, fists and a gun when necessary. A Beckettian Bog Western where the participants wallow in the mud searching for something which might not even be there. Seán makes a drink with berries picked from the Fairy Tree in the belief that it will restore his memory. Ronan accepts the elixir, sharing Seán's faith in the old ways. The Fairy Trr and the surrounding land is very much hallowed ground in this peasant society. Dark secrets in many senses are uncovered as the film progresses.
Directors: Andy and Ryan Tohill, working from a screenplay by Stuart Drennan have delivered a dark gem, The Field for the 21st Century. 8.5/10.
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