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HomeReview‘Oddity’: Galway Review

‘Oddity’: Galway Review

Dir/scr: Damian McCarthy. Eire. 2024. 98mins

Following a brutal crime in a distant nation home, a grieving lady makes an attempt to find what precisely occurred to her sister. This may increasingly sound like a well-known narrative, however the lady occurs to be a blind psychic with an odd connection to a large picket model — taking Oddity into decidedly creepier, off-kilter whodunnit territory. Whereas the story on the coronary heart of the second characteristic from Irish author/director Damian McCarthy could also be, regardless of the movie’s occult trappings, essentially standard on a story degree, the director’s potential to conjure and preserve a genuinely unsettling environment makes this Irish chiller one to look at for horror followers.

One to look at for horror followers

McCarthy’s well-received 2020 debut Caveat had a wholesome pageant run, primarily at style festivals, earlier than shifting to Shudder, and now the style streamer has boarded his follow-up. Oddity involves Galway after profitable the Midnight Viewers Award at SXSW and opens within the US on July 19 by way of IFC (after which it performs Canada’s Fantasia). Whereas phrase of mouth might assist it draw style aficionados to the massive display screen, it’s more likely to have a broader attain in relation to Shudder later this 12 months.

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Earlier than it strikes right into a extra paranormal realm, Oddity opens with relatable actual world horror. A lady, Dani (You Are Not My Mom star Carolyn Bracken), is alone within the remoted home she is renovating in the course of unspecified countryside (the movie shot in Cork) when there’s a knock on the door. A wierd man with a outstanding false eye stands exterior at nighttime, telling her that he noticed somebody enter the home, that she is at risk and she or he should get out. Can she imagine him? Ought to she open the door, or keep put? Both manner, she’s taking a threat.

Dani’s determination — the precise particulars of which we is not going to uncover till later in a screenplay which strikes forwards and backwards in time through puzzle-piece flashbacks — ends in her demise. A 12 months later, her bereaved husband Ted (Gwilym Lee) is visiting her sister Darcy (additionally Bracken, wonderful on this difficult twin function) in her quirky curiosity store, stuffed to the brim with eclectic, eerie objects from director McCarthy’s personal private assortment. Darcy has a expertise for psychometry, a capability to attach with individuals by way of touching private objects. Ted has a gift for her, the false eye of the person we noticed exterior the home who, it transpires, is a affected person on the psychiatric hospital the place Ted is a health care provider. Whereas Ted might not imagine in Darcy’s skills, this offers her a pathway into discovering out precisely what occurred to her sister.

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Whereas the path of this story could also be apparent to seasoned viewers, Oddity takes a twisting, and twisted, path to get there, serving up some memorable nightmarish moments alongside the best way — to not point out one actually efficient soar scare.  The rating, from Richard G Mitchell, pulses with menace proper from the off, so the environment is already thick with dread by the point Darcy arrives on the home the place her sister died, now a slick, renovated residence for Ted and his new girlfriend Yana (Caroline Point out). Clearly, neither of them need her there, significantly when she unpacks her big picket travelling companion — a deliciously macabre piece of design from mannequin maker Paul McDonnell, full with gaping mouth and holes in his head — who looms silently, accusingly on the kitchen desk. 

This constructing, alone in the course of a forest, turns into a personality in its personal proper. A transformed barn within the grounds of Bantry Home, County Cork, it’s the identical cavernous place through which McCarthy constructed his units for Caveat. McCarthy and DOP Colm Hogan successfully utilise the quirky nature of the constructing — the massive downstairs house, darkish corners, shadowy staircases and overhanging mezzanine — to isolate its characters, each from the surface world and one another. That’s significantly efficient when Darcy and Yana (and, later, Darcy and Ted) are alone collectively, slow-boil animosity giving option to rising terror as Darcy digs into her powers and the reality slowly reveals itself.

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Manufacturing corporations: Keeper Photos, Nowhere, Shudder

Worldwide gross sales: Blue Finch movies,  data@bluefinchfilms.com

Producers: Katie Holly, Laura Transtall, Evan Horen, Mette-Marie Kongsved

Cinematography: Colm Hogan

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Manufacturing design: Lauren Kelly

Enhancing: Brian Philip Davis

Music: Richard G Mitchell

Important forged: Carolyn Bracken, Gwilym Lee, Caroline Point out, Tadhg Murphy, Steve Wall, Jonathan French

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