You know how a good film keeps you guessing…yes? They start you down one track and then, all of a sudden, you realise you are on a totally different one. Well, This Land sends you down a whole variety of paths! Thriller, drama, political satire, odd couple comedy, teen romance, and horror. You’re not sure which way you’re finally going to go until half way through. Well, you might be unsure if it wasn’t for the opening credits which scream “HORROR” all the way through.
We start off with a heavily pregnant woman going home on 4th July. Kids are running around setting off fireworks all over the place. She goes into her house and disturbs an intruder who is mentally disturbed. There is a brief altercation and she is stabbed in the stomach. Off to the hospital and we’re told that mum will die if they try and save the baby. That bit is wildly unbelievable but, hey, willing suspension of disbelief and all that.
By The Pricking Of My Thumbs
The following year they decide to spend 4th July in a rural getaway. On the way there they bump into another family who, it turns out, are also booked into the same accommodation. To add to the mixture, one couple are Democrat and the other are Republican. To add to the situation, the Democrats consist of a black female nurse and a white male teacher and their teenage son, the Republicans consist of a white couple (he is a former cop and she is an alcoholic) and their teenage daughter.
So there we have all the makings of a cross between an odd couple film and a political satire. A drunken evening sets the two families at each others throats and the Republican family decide to leave early. That I do believe; I’ve stopped talking to family and friends thanks to politics and, particularly, Brexit! So they try to leave but they can’t due to car problems. The bigger problem, which is soon going to affect both families, comes from the odd locals who stopped the car working and the teachings of their cult!
Something Wicked This Way Comes
From here on in would be diving into spoiler territory but you’ll know what you’re in for if you’ve ever seen a “something nasty in the woods” type film. So, if there’s not much that’s different with the storyline the big difference comes with the execution. This Land did not disappoint. Richard Greenwood Jr did a good job with the direction keeping the jumps coming as the action ramped up. Despite my saying the story has been done before, Leon Langford and Colin Watts did manage to put in a few nice twists and turns.
The acting was great. The Democrats were played by Natalie Whittle, Adam Burch, and Jarod Powers. The Republicans were kept just the right side of farce by John J Pistone, Mindy Montavon, and Taylor Joree Scorse. Rounding out the main, i.e. unmasked, cast was Garret Camilleri as the ranger. Finally the other things that either make or break a horror film is the effects. In the main these were excellent and very believable. An occasional misfire but the majority range from adequate to totally believable.
Movie Grade: B-
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!