Sometimes I get offered films that I have neither seen nor heard any discussion of. MARTYS LANE, the new film from Ruth Platt (who brought us THE BLACK FORREST) is one such example. The expectation was muddled. With a sales pitch of fresh tomatoes and high scores, often souring the experience because it leaves a nasty taste and the conclusion is unpleasent. But I have enjoyed all the prior Shudder releases, so it was to this I held hope. That and also that I like Platt and saw that Denise Gough is here as well, She is an actress of range, charm and intellegence. She plays as a mother to the young protagonist Leah (Kiera Thompson).  Leah lives in a house with afore mentioned mother and her father Thomas (Steven Cree). Added to this is her sister Bex (Hannah Rae), who has a difficult relationship with everyone. The house is a Victorian vicarage where the night leaves spaces darkened and nightmares to creep in to the dreams of a child. When one night, a young girl in a white dress (Hannah Rae), comes to her, it will be a long way to escaping this hellish nightmare.

A space. A place. A troupe. All can be ticked on the box labelled horror conventions in Gothic cinema. The Gothic conventions aside, MARTYS LANE shares as much with 1960s film THE HAUNTING as it does with the WOMAN IN BLACK or LADY IN WHITE. Haunted spaces, child like understanding of the self and the end of life and the fears of the dark are all writ large in this deeply unsettling piece. Some suggest that it is reminiscent of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, which is an obvious connection (one that is also rather lazy), this is a film of familiar traits, executed with intellegence and insight, that will stir those who let it have the time to tell its story.

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