Marcus (Martin McCann) takes his friend Vaughn (Jack Lowden) hunting in the highlands to celebrate Vaughn's recent good news. Vaughn has never hunted before and is not exactly keen to kill an animal, but Marcus thinks it will be good for him. When they reach the small village in which they are staying they enjoy a heavy night of drinking and manage to make some impressions on the locals; some good impressions, but not all...
The next day both men are faced with a life changing tragedy. Their attempts to carry on as normal are thwarted and eventually they are forced to face up to the consequences of their actions.
A really superbly made film that is not only atmospheric, but dark, daring and engaging. Our protagonists are well rounded characters with flaws and plans and personality. Our villagers are not just two dimensional characters either, with an almost "American Werewolf in London" meets "The Wickerman" vibe that sets you on edge. Of particular interest is the character of Logan (Tony Curran) who shows the city boys understanding, but is not to be taken lightly.
The film provides some shocking action that will leave you feeling a little empty and haunted afterwards. Much like the other recent genre great, "Hereditary", this film makes you think. With scenes that are expertly crafted with the use of silence being as important as good scripting and skilled use of the highlands setting which can be as ominous as it is breathtaking.
None of the characters are 'the baddies'. Everyone has shades of grey and a very human mix of good and bad intentions. The outcome of the tragedies in this film are neither justice nor injustice and none of the characters give the impression of getting to move on comfortably with their lives.
An excellent piece that is definitely worthy of your time and will question your own morals and sense of selfishness.
Thanks for the recommendation, Stephen King!
[Image: Wellington Films]