review: It's a chill wind that blows no good

The proper ambition of a supernatural tale should be to freeze the blood in your veins but Chiller (ITV), in step with the more contemporary forms of horror, seems just as interested in making blood flow. You're not very far into "Prophecy" before the first victim takes a dive, propelled by a passing car through a plate-glass window. Her head ends up an impractical distance from the rest of her body and the blood in between is then prettily dappled by the sprinkler system. Is this frightening? Not much, but it will satisfy the horror fans' sanguinary sense of style, and Chiller is much more about meeting expectations than confounding them.

The cause of all the trouble, for instance, is that notorious alarm-clock for the undead, a ouija board session, conducted by a mini-bus full of reckless young people underneath an Italian caf. They're just having some spooky fun, poor fools, undeterred by the leaves swirling ominously around the cellar or by the message they receive -"Non Omnis Moriar" ("I shall not entirely die").

It looks like they've got away with it too, though the beautiful Francesca soon witnesses that grisly decapitation and the title that follows ("Five years later") suggests that something really nasty is biding its time. Sure enough the participants start to go down one by one. First Francesca spots one old friend outside the British Museum, doing a passable imitation of Uncle Fester and refusing to meet her eye - he's dying of leukemia. She learns that another has been shot by muggers in Washington and yet another has been struck blind. Francesca has bad dreams and wakes to find that somebody has snipped the heads off her roses and arranged them on the carpet. She takes all this very much in her stride, I must say. Indeed, even after she has discovered that her new boyfriend's family motto is "Non Omnis Moriar" and that the black sheep of the family was a satanist and paedophile she retains the same dreamy equability. It later turns out she's been possessed by the evil Marquis, though she's so vacant in the early part of the film that you can perfectly understand why he might have thought it was all right to move in - if ever there was a legitimate case for squatting, Francesca is it. "Prophecy" has some fairly unabashed fun with the genre fixtures - eerie wind effects, sinister staring children appearing in all the wrong places, but it had too much plot on its hands to ever quite get round to frightening you.

The last episode of Hearts and Minds (C4) completed Drew's miserable education in the politics of the classroom. There was, for the first time, a hint of self-pity about the plotting, a sense that a grievance had been artfully constructed. What's been excellent about the series has been its capacity to wrongfoot your sympathies. So Drew's confrontation with Trevor, the cynical black teacher, has evolved from episode to episode and scene to scene, an encounter of crude idealism and pragmatic politics which eventually leaves you frustrated at Drew's obtuseness. At home, too, he isn't the simple hero. Last night, though, the combat seemed less real. Forced to take on the school play by the headmaster, Drew starts to pull off one of the little miracles of enthusiasm that make him so likeable, proposing a multicultural musical version of Julius Caesar. And then, just as it's working its magic on the surly and uncooperative, the headmaster steps in to insist on pure Shakespeare or nothing. This arbitrary villainy seems artificial somehow. Wouldn't an inner-city headmaster leap at the chance of Drew's project? But then, if he doesn't object, there are no grounds for the drama's final moment of triumph, a subversive chorale from the stage, in which teachers are upbraided and the headmaster hung in effigy. It was presented as Drew's last blow at the system that had pushed him out, but it felt more like a surrender.

News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate