In the Dark Half (15)


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The Independent Culture

Something dark and morbid is afoot in this West Country drama, and what an age the film takes to disclose it.

Jessica Barden plays 15-year-old Marie who spends solitary hours in a secret wooded den, away from the miserable home which her mother (Lyndsey Marshal) is seemingly intent on wrecking.

Next door live a poacher (Tony Curran) and his young son, whose connection to Marie's inner turmoil is signalled early on. Runic symbols, bizarre dreams, dead rabbits and bad vibes thicken the stew without producing much in the way of taste.

We know we're being misdirected à la The Sixth Sense, but the clanking screenplay and the drab locations struggle to involve us.