TIRFF 2017: Here Lies Mrs. Higgins

here-lies-mrs-higgins

Daniel Holmwood’s black comedy Here Lies Mrs. Higgins follows two brothers from Ballyfeely as they try to move on with their lives after the death of their mother. Despite sharing similar physical features, the two men could not be more different. Tony (Kevin Buckley, who also co-wrote the film with Holmwood) is the older of the two and, as result, immediately assumes the role of being head of the household. His younger brother Brendan, on the other hand, is a dreamer who has aspirations of making it big as a writer.

Settling into a comfortable groove, the two men’s peaceful existence is shattered when the circumstances surrounding of their mother’s death comes into question.

Although it takes a dark turn in the latter half, much of the humour in Here Lies Mrs. Higgins relies on the audience reveling in the oddity of the two brothers. Unfortunately, the short film cannot be sustained on quirks alone. Holmwood’s film features a few witty lines, but there is very little for the audience to latch onto. The brothers are simply not that interesting, and the short often feels like it could have used a little more fleshing out from a narrative perspective. Here Lies Mrs. Higgins is neither as dark nor as quirky as it strives to be.