"An intelligently bizarre film about grief, solitude and connection"
An intelligently bizarre film about grief, solitude and connection. It toys with the idea of the supernatural throughout and delves into the psyche of what a person leaves of them self with those who remain behind. It uses themes of sex and intimacy to explore what it is to be wanted by someone and also how sometimes the line between the two can become blurred.
It’s odd and builds pace very slowly, so doesn't really grab your full attention until almost half-way through when events take a strange turn and the girls begin fainting and getting sick. With uncomfortable scenes stemming from abandonment issues, it keeps you questioning what is happening and unable to relax.
Maisie Williams (the lead) is absolutely fantastic as Lydia and she truly shines as a talented actress. It is great to see her versatility as a somewhat snarky and insecure girl as opposed to the brave and resilient one that she plays in Game of Thrones. Likewise, Florence Pugh is perfect as the somewhat ethereal Abbie. You can see why Lydia is drawn to and attached to her. Joe Cole, as Lydia's brother Kenneth, achieves just the right balance of innocence and predatory behaviour -- his character will raise the hairs on the back of your neck at points, and not in a nice way. Also worth a mention is Maxine Peake as their mother, she barely says anything during the film and yet she barely needs to and conveys everything through her expressions, or lack of them.
The roles of the teachers and fellow pupils, while all being played well, were your standard archetypal characters that we've all seen a thousand times before. Overall it is a good little film with an original story that is definitely worth a watch; however it is the pacing and general weirdness of it that slightly lets it down. It almost goes too far with it. Almost.