(director/writer: Lee Haven Jones; screenwriter: Roger Williams; cinematographer: Bjorn Bratberg; editor: Kevin Jones; music: Samuel Sim; cast: Annes Elwy (Cadi), Nia Roberts (Glenda), Julian Lewis Jones (Gwyn), Siôn Alun Davies (Gweirydd), Steffan Cennydd (Guto), Rhodri Meilir (Euros), Lisa Palfrey (Mair); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producer; Roger Williams: IFC Midnight/S4C; 2021-UK-in Welch with English subtitles)
“Appealing slow-burn horror pic with a bloody ending.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Welsh TV director Lee Haven Jones does a fine job in his debut as feature film director of this appealing slow-burn folk horror pic with a bloody ending, that’s so scrumptiously served in six different sections (each with a title heading) that it’s irresistible. It’s shot in Snowdonia, and is conventionally written with taste and with an a edgy attitude in Welsh (requiring English subtitles) by Roger Williams. The writer takes umbrage with the exploiters of the land, who are unaware of how much they are disliked in the community.
In the remote Welsh countryside, at their modern new luxury vacation home, shamefully built over rich farmland, the snooty Glenda (Nia Roberts) and her wealthy corrupt politician hubby, Gwyn (Julian Lewis), who is most of the time in London, are throwing a self-serving elegant dinner party so they can get in good with the locals and possibly get favors from them. To further ingratiate themselves with the locals, they hire as a server the low-key and observant young local gal Cadi (Annes Elwy). When party time is over and there are already several shocking moments unleashed during the course of the evening, the mysterious Cadi uses her potent magic to unnervingly hold the troubled family in her supernatural grip of evil and the guests are facing a possible Last Supper.
The atmospheric visuals by DP Bjorn Bratberg are awesome. The acting is chilly (especially the sly performance by Roberts), and the story that pits “man” against Mother Nature is cunningly told and satisfying as a modern-day eco-horror story (a new sub-genre of horror pics).
For viewers that were all in on films like Midsommar and Gaia, this film should also connect with them. It’s a film you can chow down on when checking-it out. The intense horror film can fill you up on the bad karma released by the community while at the same time making you feel squeamish about what’s going down.
It’s a select film of the Fantasia Festival.
REVIEWED ON 11/11/2021 GRADE: B+