FrightFest 2011 Review: The Holding

In British thriller The Holding Cassie Naylor and her two daughters working their farm to make the bills. Something has happened recently (as shown at the start of the film) involving the father Dean, but we are never sure what.

Enter Aden: A charismatic and eager to help workman who is passing by in the hope to catch his old friend Dean. Resistant at first; Cassie lets Aiden stay with them in return for work. It isn’t long though before Aiden starts to show his true colours when the family come under threat from the neighbouring farmer’s greed.

The film is well shot, and generally well cast with the exception perhaps of their leading lady. Firstly if there is ever a look that any young farmer would have, Wareing is the opposite of it. Dressing her in the clothes hardly disguises her glamour look. Also she isn’t really all that good in the part, which is surprising as she nailed the role of the mother in Fish Tank. Here she comes off like a model who is out of their social depth even when trying to act a part of someone who is well used to the rural life.

There are attempts perhaps at sexual politics between men and woman – as it is a female lived and ran farm, with occasional male figures getting in their way. But the film rarely braves anything in dialogue, save for one scene where Aden humiliates the oldest daughter with cold hard facts he knows about her.

As Aden, Vincent Regan fares better until he is required to turn into a jabbering and desperate psychopath in the films remaining act. For all its high and low points The Holding is largely a respectable piece of work that succumbs to predictability. But the time doesn’t pass with any sign of boredom setting in. We’ve had some poorly made horror films in Britain in recent times, this one is well made, but with a few wrong choices along the way.

The Holding is screening at FrightFest on Friday 26th August at 12.45pm.

It is out in theatres on 9th September and DVD 12th September.

Steven Hurst

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