Director – Alexander McGregor Birrell – 2022 – UK – Cert. 15 – 82m
A mystery thriller writer working alone in a secluded cabin in the woods is interrupted by the arrival of a stranger – out in UK cinemas and on digital platforms from Sunday, October 8th
Developed from his 20 minute, 2019 short of the same name and starring the same two leads, Birrell’s debut feature is a curious mixture of innovation and genre cliché. Yet, enough of what’s going on here works sufficiently to hold the viewer’s attention.
Ben (Joshua Tonks, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Birrell), who isn’t named until quite some way into the film, has rented a cabin in the woods in order to write his latest novel, “if you can call it that” – he’s working in horror, thriller fiction. Tonight, he becomes engrossed in writing about his antagonist – a mysterious stranger – he suddenly becomes convinced that there is someone lurking outside the cabin. When he looks, he can see no-one. Nevertheless, his gut instinct is correct: someone is watching the cabin from the darkness.
What follows skilfully walks a knife edge between someone writing or imagining a story about being terrorised by a stranger whilst staying at a cabin in the woods and someone actually being terrorised by a stranger whilst staying at a cabin in the woods.… Read the rest