Young couple Ed (Lee Williams) and Sarah (Pollyanna McIntosh) are set to begin a new life when they move from London into an isolated borders Scottish farmhouse. In bed on their first night Sarah thinks she can hear noises in the darkness but Ed is disbelieving. Persisting in her fear they are not alone in the house, she forces Ed to investigate. When he doesn't return, she investigates, only to be confronted by a welcoming committee of masked intruders. As she desperately searches for Ed, a terrifying game of cat and mouse ensues with the mysterious assailants. But what do they want and what horrors do they have planned for the two newcomers?
A husband and wife buy a weathered old house in a remote part of Scotland. You won’t believe this, but they hear strange noises during the night – noises they initially put down to ‘being in a strange house’. Familiar the story surely is, but this is better told than most.
The two main characters, Sarah (hugely impressive Pollyanna McIntosh) and Lee Williams as Ed (who is a bit of idiot) are realistic and have a genuine chemistry. As with real life couples, you do wonder why one puts up with the other, but they are believable. The isolated Scottish location is very creepy, and the production itself provides a real sense of growing unease that manifests itself well when the creepy noises are attributed to invaders real and brutal. As the estate agent warned, the land is the site of a gruesome battle between the Scottish and the English …
There’s a refreshing lack of the sort of jump-scares that have become standard in films of this nature, and the effects are all physical and therefore, real. No noticeable CGI here. And yet once the threats became tangible, my interest dwindled a little as events became typical slasher fare.
The ending is what caused raised eyebrows. Looking online, I am relieved my weren’t alone. SPOILERS – having been scared, chased, battered and tied up the couple are dumped – bloodied but otherwise unharmed – by a city centre. Their attackers have moved into the vacant house, and are enjoying a few pints with their families. It seems, going by a line of dialogue earlier, that the ‘English scum’ are responsible for the death of a family member, and so presumably all English are scared away from purchasing any properties in that area of Scotland. I wonder how McIntosh, who is Scottish herself, feels about this event. Running close to racism, I am surprised the makers of this otherwise enjoyable film decided to take this route.