Written by Martin Andrew Robinson, produced by Jim Cahill and directed by first timer, Eric Courtney, Seer were shot on a mere budget of €200k and tells the story of 7 strangers who wake up in a remote house in Wexford with no memory and a tag on their wrists to tell them their name. The lead role, Mary Perry, is played by Tara Nixon O’Neill who you may recognise from Pure Mule, Fair City or The Clinic.
As the plot progresses, the 7 strangers realise they can’t leave the house as a creature lurks on the grounds waiting to devour them on site. Dotted around the house are clues to what is going on, a child monitor and mirrors with pentagrams painted on them. Mary Perry is plagued by flashbacks and visions which suggest there is more to the events than first imagined.
It is easy to see that director Courtney is a fan of the horror genre. In many ways the film plays out as a horror siege, reminiscent of horror great, John Carpenter. The ambient soundtrack is dominated by atmospheric noises and percussion, a tool used very successfully in Carpenter’s “The Thing”.
So is it any good? Well as with any low budget horror movie, the realism is limited by the budget available. However Courtney does an excellent job as maintaining the tension without the need for quick scares. You do at times however feel like shouting at the characters that they should just try harder when trying to leave the house!
The acting and dialogue is weak in parts although thankfully we are spared from stereotype female actors screaming and running around confused. In fact it is many ways the male characters trapped in the house that assume the stereotype hollywood female persona! Many of the performances are wooden but it is not all lost. Michael, played by David Walsh, really brings life to his role playing the somewhat estranged father, distant from his wife and family. His wife, played by Rita Evelyn Smith, also puts in a strong performance.
Unfortunately however some of the cut scenes with the 2 parents do deter from the tension created in the house and we are kept guessing at the relevance throughout.
The climax of the film has a nice twist but the dragged out explanatory ending does take away from the mysticism somewhat, well for me anyway. I’m not the type of person that feels everything needs to be explained.
Overall the film is enjoyable and while it doesn’t offer anything new for the genre, it does hold its head high with graceful nods to previous horror classics and its restraint with the characters. While there is no denying that the low budget nature of the film does show but Courtney makes the best of use of his resources and putting together a much needed “Shroomless” Irish horror. I did wonder at the end of the film what Courtney could have achieved with a larger budget.
In Summary: Low budget Irish horror with dodgy dialogue and performances in parts but kept together with some tense scenes and atmos. Courtney is one to watch out for in the future.
Last week I promised an interview with Eric Courtney however due to scheduling clashes the interview has been postponed till later this week.