Sparkles be gone…Posted: June 29, 2010
I know I am not the only one sick to the back-teeth of “Vampire” stories. Whether we’re talking Twilight, Vampire Diaries, etc. it’s overload time for the dark romance turgid teen vampire genre. I don’t quite know how we got here but I probably blame Anne Rice. I thoroughly enjoyed Interview with the Vampire but the sequels were somewhat less interesting. And it turns out she’s a god botherer which explains why we end up with nonsense like Memnoch the Devil. I’ve digressed; I’d just really like to see something approaching a decent complex horror story.
And don’t start me on zombies…
Maybe Werewolves are where it’s at?
I was lucky enough to get to see a half decent film in the Edinburgh Film Festival called Outcast. This is a small independent film featuring a mix of Irish and Scottish actors. The premise is relatively simple. There are a small number of gypsy types living amongst us and they have magical powers. Two of them appear to be hunting down something, there’s a strange family living on a sink estate and there’s a monster loose in the town.
First the bad stuff. The story is a little incoherent. Much is left unsaid and the viewer is left to fill in the gaps. This makes you work harder than you normally have to, which in a sense is nice, but at the same time a little more detail would have been ok. Many of the characters felt like placeholders and they didn’t grow much throughout the film. There’s also at least one character who could have been excised completely. A couple of the story strands are left dangling so the film didn’t feel as satisfying as it might by the time you reach the conclusion. These are normally bad signs in any movie, certainly for me, yet the film is still quite good,
Essentially this is a typical werewolf story; coming of age mixed in with forbidden love. The central idea of magical gypsies living among us is nothing new however it felt realistic and the actors worked well with what they were given. The film had a gritty gory feel that I thought contrasts quite well with the overly smooth safe modern horrors that have been inflicted on us recently. The director also didn’t dwell on the beast. It’s not shown in any detail until the end, probably because of budget constraints, and I felt that this helped keep brooding mystery of the story intact. There’s also some good central performances that kept me interested throughout.
I’d certainly recommend seeing the film. It’s a nice counterpoint to the torture-porn and teen angst crap that’s being served up in the multiplexes. If no one sees it at the cinema then I hope it gets a good figures on DVD. And I hope the writer-director makes more films – especially if he’s going to explain the world that his characters inhabit.
As a last thought maybe this is what horror genre actually needs. Less zombies, less vampires (unless we return to proper scary vampires), less torture porn and more genuine scares. Maybe it’s time for the genre to go a little underground and then return back from the wilderness lean and hungry again…