"this horror comedy pulls no punches with fantastic British humour and a bonkers portrayal of the supernatural"

Despite a name that would befit a frothy rom com, Double Date is most certainly not that kind of film. Like the child of Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers and The Craft, this horror comedy pulls no punches with fantastic British humour and a bonkers portrayal of the supernatural.

Directed by Benjamin Barefoot and written by Danny Morgan (On The Road), this film also stars Morgan in the lead role of Jim. Jim is not a lucky guy with the ladies, so heading out on the eve of his 30th birthday, his laddish best friend Alex (Michael Socha) promises that by midnight he’ll have lost his virginity. Enter Lulu (Georgia Groome) and Kitty (Kelly Denham) - the problem is, these two women already have their own dark motive for seducing a man.

Double Date is a remarkable feature debut for both the writer and director, showing a self-assured humour and a brilliant knack for pacing. With an added supernatural element, hilarious scenes lightly mocking British culture become even more outlandish in comparison. At times too, it’s genuinely scary, and features some fantastic practical effects instead of resorting to CGI.

Full credit should go to the four leads too, from Denham’s physical acting in genuinely thrilling fight scenes, to Groome’s wide-eyed vulnerability. Morgan is brilliant in fleshing out the character of Jim as a lovable leading man, breaking away from the character type usually played as brief comic relief in other films.

Stealing the show in the end though, is Michael Socha. He fills out the character with a brash overconfidence and delivers each line with the perfect amount of sharpness. He’s been slowly making an impression on British television drama and it’s great to see something that fully uses his comic abilities.

A real gem from Edinburgh Film Festival, Double Date is an exciting, scary and genuinely hilarious first foray by emerging British talent.