DIRECTOR Simeon Halligan WRITER Ian Fenton STARS Pollyanna McIntosh; Lee Williams; Joanne Mitchell CINEMA 6 September

White SettlersTo tout White Settlers as a ‘Scottish referendum horror’ is a simplistic nonsense; there is no sociopolitical philosophy to be had here, the script and its characters far too paper-thin to achieve anything but what the film is: a paint-by-numbers home invasion. This much is clear within the first few minutes, as Sarah and Ed, a young couple, view a house for purchase: the estate agent is politely hostile, and informs them of the house’s history as the site of a battle between the Scots and English; and Ed shows his prejudiced view of Scottish countryfolk as he sneers his reluctance to move away from city life. Add a tiresome overemphasis on the lack of phone signal and the first act does not even attempt to move away from cliche.

Thankfully this gives way to a fairly taut second act that, again, approaches nothing new, but sees a fine, believable performance from Pollyanna McIntosh; free of wooden dialogue, she singlehandedly carries the film. The suspense here is meted out well, some good imagery — a moonlit silhouette of one of the pig-men attackers is a nice touch — complementing events to highlight the desperation of Sarah’s situation. All good work is undone with a crude final act, however, which leads to an unintentionally laughable climax.

Posted by Naila Scargill

Naila is the founder and editor of Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, 
ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance. She is the Culture Editor at Trebuchet, and generally gets around.