Outcast @ Fantasia

A teenage boy named Fergal (Niall Bruton) and his mother, Mary (Kate Dickie) move into a filthy, run down apartment in a complex in Edinburgh. They move in next door to the rebellious Petronella (Hanna Stanbridge), her mentally challenged brother and alcoholic mother. Fergal is almost immediately drawn to Petronella and begins a friendship with her. Mary is quite protective of Fergal and is always advising him to keep to himself. You think she is just a strange woman and an overprotective parent, but quickly you learn that there is plenty more than that going on here.

Mary uses blood from her own body to paint protective symbols on the apartment walls and she seems to be able to cast spells on people and places. Petronella is a bit suspicious of her, but Fergal just says that he and his mother are different.

Liam (Ciaran McMenamin) is bring around a man named Cathal (James Nesbitt – Waking Ned Devine, Welcome to Sarajevo), who seems to be using magic and spells in order to hunt a beast. Cathal is very anxious to get on with it while Liam keeps telling him that there is a procedure to follow.

In the back alleys of Edinburgh a creature/beast is killing people brutally under the cover of night. It becomes apparent that everyone dying has something to do with Mary and Fergal.

You begin to clue in that Liam and Cathal are on the hunt for Mary and her son. She tries to stall him as long as she can, but you know that a confrontation is going to happen between the two and it is not going to be pretty.

Today's horror landscape is overrun with poor slasher films that rely on blood and gore and not enough on story and tension. Outcast avoids those pitfalls (though does fall into a couple of others) to be a film that is interesting, creepy and original.

The story falls into the fantasy horror genre with all the spells and magic. It has several different themes that run concurrently and sometimes becomes a little too much. Definitely ambitious stuff! It's better to go into the film a little blind about what is going to go on and just enjoy the at times wild ride. The ideas behind the film are really its strongest feature.

The low budget thriller ends up being a good watch despite the fact that it is a little muddled at times. The story gets a little convoluted at times and is a might bit distracting, but you still have to love the fact that the director and cast went for it full out.

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