Benjamin Noah’s New Woman is a gothic tale that fills its frames with a rich and unforgettable atmosphere. The film does not offer many answers to the questions it raises but trusts the audience enough to fill in the blanks. Set in 1888, the film observes a fateful encounter between a wealthy woman (Rhiannon Morgan) and the pickpocket (Stephen Oates) who initially intended to rob her. Finding himself drawn to the woman, the man agrees to join her for dinner at her seaside castle. Little does the man know that sinister motives are at play. Allowing the visuals to tell most of the story, Noah ensures no moment is wasted. Anchored by captivating cinematography and strong performances from Morgan and Oates, New Woman finds plenty of new and engaging life in old lore.
In a brief seven minutes Nik Benn’s Long Pig takes audience to a job interview unlike no other. An interview so secretive that dimwitted applicant Raymond (Dave Walpole) must wear a bag over his head until he gets to the location. What is the job he is applying for? To be honest, Raymond has no clue, he just knows it is a job that will pay 75K plus expenses. To say anymore would spoil the hilarious surprises the film offers. It is best to go in and just enjoy the slick dialogue between Raymond and his potential employer (Tommy Power); a conversation that reveals more about job and the applicant than one initially assumes. A delight from beginning to end, Long Pig is devilishly fun.
Stumbling across a farm owned by gruff farmer Weylon (Stennie Bell), timid Fidelma (Jennifer Hardy) sees an opportunity to find much needed work. However, Fidelma quickly learns that the job is more than what she bargained for when she is tasked with tending to Weylon’s dog Pepper. Directed by Kate Felix, Pepper sets its disturbing atmosphere quickly. Weylon’s harsh demeanor is a direct contrast to Fidelma’s, which allows the film to set up a potential predator/prey style dynamic. While one of the key surprises is easy to decode, the performances by Bell and Hardy keep the film interesting up to its twisted conclusion.