Cert 15 106mins Stars 4
The pungent atmosphere of this throat-grabbing British thriller is a heady mix of earthy lust, poisonous snobbery and cold-hearted corruption.
It’s a modern-day fairytale inspired by infamous ‘Beast of Jersey’, a 1960’s paedophile who preyed on the islands inhabitants.
Moll is a red-haired Cinderella who escapes her strict mother to pursue a romance with a local poacher, only to see him suspected of being a multiple child rapist and murderer.
Irish actress Jessie Buckley will be familiar from Tom Hardy’s TV series, Taboo, and gives a mesmerising performance which swings from dead-pan subtlety to raw physicality. Johnny Flynn is vulnerable and wolfish as her boyfriend, Pascal.
A haunting choral soundtrack reinforces the timeless nature, and the arch script is a great example of how filmmakers are choosing to side-step the plot-ruining internet, by pretending it doesn’t exist.
This is a scarily confident directorial debut by writer Michael Pearce, and I’m intrigued to see what beastly surprises his talent serves up next.