Saturday, February 8, 2014
Outcast (2010)(Spoiler Review)
**This review contains spoilers**
Mary (Kate Dickie) will do anything to protect her teenage son, Fergal (Niall Bruton) from harm. Fergal and Mary constantly switch homes to avoid any suspicious eyes, and Mary chooses a rundown apartment complex for the next stop on Fergal’s relocation tour.
Fergal tries to adjust to his new surroundings, but Fergal crosses the line, when he breaks one of Mary’s rules: No girls. Petronella (Hanna Stanbridge) is falling in love with Fergal, but Fergal is hesitant to accept Petronella as his girlfriend in the early stages of their relationship.
Meanwhile, a fearless outsider named Cathal (James Nesbitt) accepts a proposal from a magical Celtic clan to hunt and kill Fergal. Cathal receives tattoos to grant him temporary powers from the Celtic clan. Liam (Ciaran McMenamin) guides Cathal in his mission to destroy Fergal, but Cathal is obsessed with Mary. Reluctantly, Laird (James Cosmo), a highly respected member of the clan, accepts Cathal as a temporary member of the clan.
During Cathal’s hunt and Mary’s never-ending mission to protect Fergal, a monstrous creature stalks and devours unsuspecting victims in Fergal’s apartment complex. Mary uses her knowledge of spells and black magic as a witch to stall and detour Cathal, but Fergal is desperate to live a normal life as a teenager. Fergal asks Petronella to runaway with him, but Petronella is terrified at the thought of leaving her mentally challenged brother, Tomatsk (Josh Whitelaw) alone, because Petronella’s mother is a hateful alcoholic.
Cathal is one step behind Mary, and the creature’s body count rises during his bloody rampages. Mary tries to outsmart a pesky social worker, and she explains her past with the magical Celtic clan to Fergal. And Fergal’s plans to runaway with Petronella are put on hold, when Fergal meets his estranged father for the first time…..
Kate Dickie delivers the best performance as Mary. Mary is a cruel and callous mother, who will do anything to save Fergal, and she uses her own brand of tough love to protect her son. There’s a scene where Mary confronts the social worker, because Mary intentionally used the wrong address for Fergal’s paperwork. The social worker threatens Mary with the police, but Mary uses a spell to put a curse on the social worker. The curse? The social worker will live out the rest of her days wandering the apartment complex. Dickie has this intense and vicious look on her face during a stare down, but Dickie’s performance isn’t limited to the strict and unflinching mother. Towards the end, Dickie shows a more vulnerable side with a few tears, while Mary explains her past to Fergal.
Bruton is believable, as the quiet and soft spoken teenager, who’s trying to break out of his shell. Nesbitt is genuinely despicable as the deranged scoundrel, who will do anything to kill Fergal and Mary. Stanbrdige is entertaining as the tough and spunky young woman. There’s a scene where Petronella stands up to and taunts a local tough guy for trashing her character, and there’s another scene where Petronella berates the social worker for snooping around and asking too many personal questions. Although, Petronella has a softer side at times, because she protects and takes care of Tomatsk, and you’ll see a few tender moments with Petronella and Tomatsk together.
So we’re in the final stages of the movie, and Cathal dishonors the agreement, when he disobeys Liam’s strict orders to abandon the mission. Remember, if Cathal completes the mission, he’ll receive full control of his powers for a lifetime. And Cathal doesn’t care about helping the Celtic clan. He’s obsessed with power, and revenge on Mary.
Cathal uses his temporary powers to locate Mary and Fergal. At Mary’s apartment, Mary orders Fergal to hide in his room, when Cathal shows up. Here, it’s revealed Cathal is Fergal’s father, because Mary had a one night stand with Cathal years ago. Cathal murders Mary during a fight, but Cathal walks into an unpleasant surprise, when he tries to murder Fergal. The creature bursts through the door to attack and kill Cathal by ripping his throat out. That’s right. Fergal is the creature.
But it’s not over yet! Tomatsk is in jail, because he’s accused of murder, and Petronella’s mother is at the police station for questioning, so Petronella agrees to runaway with Fergal. Keep in mind, Petronella doesn’t know Fergal is the creature. So Petronella waits for Fergal at the playground in the middle of the night.
Fergal and Petronella share a romantic moment together, but Fergal transforms into the creature after intercourse. Liam shows up to protect Petronella. Here, it’s revealed Liam is Fergal’s uncle. During a struggle, Petronella breaks her promise to help Liam kill Fergal, but Fergal uses Liam’s dagger to murder Fergal. For the final scene of the movie, Petronella is all alone, and she’s begging for spare change on a street corner. Laird shows up to offer a helping hand with a hot meal. Oh, and Petronella is pregnant with Fergal’s child.
Towards the end, the reveal of Fergal as the creature is more obvious, if you pay close attention. Outcast tries to throw you off the trail with Tomatsk as the creature, but there’s one big problem with Tomatsk as the creature: Fergal is never around during the creature’s murders/attacks, or the aftermath of the creature’s murders. On the other hand, Tomatsk is holding the body of a ravaged victim, so Fergal was the only realistic option.
Petronella being pregnant? Yeah, Petronella’s pregnancy caught me off guard, and her decision to murder Fergal was a surprise. Petronella was in love with Fergal, so for a brief second I thought there was a chance she would let him survive.
Are the reveals at the end shocking? No, they’re not, because obvious foreshadowing gives away too much, but Outcast deserves some credit for impeccable timing. First, Mary finally breaks her silence (her explanation to Fergal was ambiguous, but it’s obvious she was talking about Cathal) about Cathal being Fergal’s father.
Moments later, Cathal murders Mary during the fight. What happens after Mary’s demise? Fergal (as the creature) bursts through the door of his room to murder Cathal. And to wrap up the movie, Petronella reveals her pregnancy after a gut wrenching decision to murder the love of her life.
The hocus-pocus stuff and the voodoo magic tricks reach a tiresome point after a while, because Outcast crosses the line for overkill a few times. Still, I enjoyed this one. Outcast is a brooding and gruesome horror film, featuring a poignant love story. Petronella and Fergal live hellish lives, but Petronella is the cure for Fergal’s pain and vice versa.
Also, your jaw won’t hit the floor for the reveals at the end, but Outcast deserves credit for a well executed finale. The finale packs an emotional and tense punch during a whirlwind of chaos, and Mary‘s brutal last stand features one of the major highlights (the creatures demise is another good pick) in Outcast.
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