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White Settlers (2014)



It's Ed and Sarah's first night at their new home - an isolated farmhouse on the Scottish borders. This should be a new beginning away from their stressful London lives. And at first it is; come sunset they fall in love all over again on a wander in the woods. But as darkness falls, Sarah suspects they're not alone, Ed goes to investigate and quickly, the evening becomes a nightmare. It suddenly dawns on them; they do not belong here. And they certainly aren't welcome either....

Review

This film so wanted to be Eden Lake. Eden Lake, it is not. We're going a bit spoilery for this one, but you're not missing much. As setups go, White Settlers has about as stock setting as you're going to get. Two people buy a house in a new, and different area, only to be tormented by the locals. The only problem is... well, all of it.

Writer Ian Fenton (Byker Grove...?) has written (I won't say created) a bog standard slashery-home-invasion movie, reeking of The Strangers. And it's okay, story wise, apart from the twist. But we'll get to that. Couple, Ed and Sarah have an idyllic relationship, until they don't, and are, without doubt, two of the most unlikeable stock horror characters you will find. Combining that with Lee Williams (Hotel Babylon) and Pollyanna McIntosh's (The Walking Dead) less than impressive range, well, it's a good start. Then comes the men in pig masks (I kid you not) and the chase through the house and woods, and then it's over.

Direction by Simeon Halligan (Splintered) is sufficient, and there's no real effects, practical or CG to comment on. It's just bad actors making bad decisions.

Then, at the climax of the movie, the villainous pig masked...people, win.

But allow me to fill in the gaps. The couple are English and the house they buy is in Scotland. The pig mask wearers are Scots. Like, O, M, G. It's... racial. Except, at the end, after the Scots have defeated the English in bloody battle, we see the couple awakening in Manchester outside a tram station, because they weren't going to hurt them or anything, just beat their heads in and dump back over the border.

What?

It's not a particularly good film, failing to do what it's trying to do, and it ramps up non-existent racial tension, while having no pay off whatsoever. Also, it says it's based on a actual events. So there's that.


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