Without Name (2016)

Without Name
Director: Lorcan Finnegan
Writer: Garret Shanley
Cast: Alan McKenna, Niamh Algar, James Browne,
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 6.5.2017
[Review by cornholio.]

Eric (Alan McKenna) is a land surveyor who is sent to measure a remote forest. Exactly what he measures the forest for is unclear to Eric, but he doesn’t really care as it affords him the perfect opportunity to get away from his family for a bit. Which is particularly attractive because Eric is accompanied by his student and assistant Olivia (Niamh Algar) with whom he is having an affair. But instead of romantic seclusion, what they find is strange occurrences in their hut and in the forest itself.

Wow. Without Name absolutely blew me away. The film, its strangeness and above all its atmosphere really got under my skin. I’ve thought often about it since I saw it, and I get goosebumps every time I do.

There are many things that stood out to me about the film, but above all it was the camera work and the lighting that really took me in. They were extremely clever about it, making the film look amazing. But that’s not the most important thing about it: they also achieve that the forest itself becomes a protagonist of the film.

Coupled with the amazing soundtrack, it really gives the film an out of this world quality that is haunting in the sense of a forlorn desire for something that can’t be put into words, but also in the sense of simply terrifying.

The film could skate by on looks and sounds alone.It makes scenes work that I usually don’t particularly like (like drug trips) and I could imagine that it would make even the worst story work as well. But the good thing is that it doesn’t need to make a bad story work. It’s a strange, unusual story it tells, that much is for certain, but that is not a bad thing and it certainly isn’t a weakness of the film.

All of this is made even more impressive by the fact that it is the director’s and the writer’s first feature film. I hope that they can continue to make films like this, because I’m still enchanted.

Summarizing: I’ll say it again: wow.

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