WITHOUT NAME. (2016) DIRECTED BY LORCAN FINNEGAN. WRITTEN BY GARRET SHANLEY. STARRING ALAN MCKENNA, NIAMH ELGAR, JAMES BROWNE, DONNCHA CROWLEY AND OLGA WEHRLY. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. © There’s not a whole lot to say about this Irish eco-horror film, and I still can’t really decide if I liked it or not. It’s about a bloke called Eric who accepts an assignment to survey a forest in Dublin from a businessman who won’t tell him what the survey is for. Don’t get too excited about that last bit, lol, as it doesn’t turn out to be relevant. Eric is more than happy to take on the assignment, as it means he’ll have to live on the job for as long as it takes, and not with his family. He has a disastrous relationship with his wife Margaret, and we get the distinct feeling that it’s Eric’s appalling lack of communication that’s to blame. His desperate wife is just about ready to give up on him, and even his teenage son Justin is getting in trouble at school purely, we feel, to grab his dad’s attention at long last. While doing the surveying job, Eric will live in a creepy old house on the edge of the forest we later find out is called Without Name, or Gan Anam, pronounced ‘Gone Annem,’ in the Irish. He hears from the regulars in the tiny local pub (anyone hear the sound of duelling banjos?) that the previous incumbent of the house, an old man called Devoy, was found naked and gibbering in the forest one fine day, his mind gone. We know this to be true because we see Devoy in the mental hospital. In. His. Pyjamas, if you please. Eric’s student assistant Olivia, a beautiful young blonde woman with whom he’s having an extramarital affair, comes to the house and they have wild, passionate sex before commencing on the job. Olivia is no happier than Margaret, the wife, because Eric is uncommunicative with her too, on top of which he’s clearly going back on his promise to leave his wife for her, citing the teenage Justin as an excuse. Quite hypocritical of him, as he hasn’t done a whole lot for the lad lately. The forest gives both Eric and Olivia the creeps. More than that, Eric keeps thinking he sees a dark, eerie silhouette of a human figure through the trees. His visions don’t exactly improve after a night of ingesting magic mushrooms with Olivia and Gus, a weirdo who lives in a caravan in the forest. In fact, things get much, much worse. Is Eric doomed to go the way of poor, mentally ruined Devoy, and just how much of what he’s seen and heard is real, and how much is just a figment of his crumbling sanity…? The woods and scenery in this are gorgeous, but then Ireland is filled with such fabulous woods. It’s plot, narrative and storyline the film is short of. Sorry, but not a lot is happening here horror-wise to satisfy your average fan. The most interesting thing to me about this film was that the part of the publican in the miniscule local pub is played by Donncha Crowley, who was Father Billy in the Christmas episode of FATHER TED, one of the priests who gets lost in the lingerie department on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure if he’s the one was was ‘messing with the bras and the strap flung back and hit him in the eye,’ and the next scene he’s in he’s wearing an eyepatch. That’s just the funniest Christmas episode of a sitcom ever, bar none. Given a choice between it and WITHOUT NAME, A VERY CHRISTMASSY TED wins hands down. WITHOUT NAME? WITHOUT PLOT, more like.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
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July 15, 2022 firstruleoffilmclub alan mckenna, eco-horror, folk horror, gan ainm, garret shanley, hallucinations, irish cinema, irish folk horror films, land surveyor, lorcan finnegan, marriage breakdown, niamh algar, sandra harris, without name