WITHOUT NAME **** Ireland 2016 Dir: Lorcan Finnegan 93 mins
Land surveyor, Eric, leaves his currently stagnant marriage and disruptive son for a few weeks and travels to a remote village in Ireland on a job to map out an ancient forest for a client. Later joined by his student co-worker and lover, Olivia, he finds more then he bargained for in the woods the locals’ call “Gan Aimn” roughly translated as “Without Name”. Director Lorcan Finnegan has out done himself on this feature length offering that has a truly haunting and eerie feel from start to finish. It boasts a fantastic score from composer Gavin O’Brien that really puts you on edge.
That combined with the breath taking scenery and cinematography involved really shows how well thought out this is. The script and acting is expertly done with notably great performances from Alan McKenna as Eric, Niamh Algar as Olivia and James Browne as Gus. This is not your typical “isolated cottage in haunted woods” type film though as the horror elements are all psychological and draw on human nature and state of mind with an emphasis on getting high on nature. If you’re looking for a blood bath you won’t find it here but it is suitably dread laden and uneasy. That being said I can’t help but draw some comparisons to Corin Hardy’s film The Hallow, mostly because they share a similar storyline and setting, but they veer off in different directions in execution, one taking a more visual horror approach than the other. I think the eerie nature and dread comes through quicker and more prominent in Without Name even though there is less going on than in The Hallow. This one I would recommend!
Review by Sarah Budd