You get a vibe as to how a movie might turn out to be, and The Holding had a largely unappealing feel about it, the fact that it received it’s World premier today, and that it is due straight onto DVD in the next few weeks does not fill one with confidence. The wonder with this sort of film however, is that you can be proven wrong.
Set in England’s Lake District, a woman harbours a dark secret while struggling to maintain her farm and stay on top of bills. Facing pressure from every single angle Cassie (Kierston Wareing), has to balance local pressure, and the pressure that comes from owing money. She has two options, sell her farm, or marry a man from the next farm, a man she despises. That is until Aden (Vincent Regan) turns up. Aden has all the answers and works hard to make sure that Cassie keeps her farm, but what secret does he hide.
This really was an enjoyable movie; it bears resemblance for classic movies like Night Of The Hunter. The build up was really well paced, first Aden is the hero, the next the villain. You get a great snapshot of skewering relationships that occur in small villages and towns, when things do not run to expected course.
Kierston Wareing gets to ditch her east-end accent and to play the heroine for once, and a really good job she does too, strong, sexy, and incredibly determined. Her new prim and proper accent, slips every now and again, but she can be forgiven, for doing such an incredible job!
As the movie moves through, it has a body count to please any horror movie fanatic, starting subtly; it gets a little more intense. If I have a criticism then its in death no real thought is put into hiding bodies, or disposing of evidence, and the perpetrator of the crimes is quite a well thought out character, so to leave a wake of bodies behind him seems a little strange.
When things are dark in the movie, they are really dark, from the opening scenes, to the demise of some of the more likable characters, nobody is safe in The holding, which is another great strength.
First time movie director Susan Jacobson handles the film like a pro, many other more established directors work would suffer as they fail to deliver such a polished film, and if this is an indication of the directors base level, we may well have a new hot British director in the making.
The film is at times predictable, in some ways a little bland for fans of the genre, but on the whole a totally rewarding experience, and one that is worth investing the time in.