One of the best things about going to a film festival is discovering films that are, in all practicality, probably not going to be heard from (in the US, that is) until a distributor takes a risk and breaks them free of the festival circuit cycle. And if the title in question is a horror movie, chances are slim it'll ever end up back on the big screen again. Take Outcast, for example, from Scottish director Colm McCarthy. Where else but the festival circuit are you going to be able to see a film featuring nomads who use ancient Irish rituals and dark magic to quietly fight each other whilst an unknown creature stalks a dingy estate (that's what the Brits call subsidized housing these days) somewhere in the UK?

There just isn't much of a market for low-budget, dark fantasy films from the UK here in the States. I'd say that's a shame, but I'm not even sure there's a market for such films anywhere in the world and I'm really not sure I'd have it any other way. If there were even a handful of films about Irish dark magic, I'm not so sure Outcast would have what it takes to stand out. It's got a moderate pace for what is essentially a chase film, but is intentionally vague and has the production values of a high end skate video. However, because there really isn't any other game in town on the Irish fantasy front, Outcast stands tall in a quirky, "Have you seen the one about...?" kind of way.
categories Reviews, Horror