Half Light (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/06/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

Enjoyably old-fashioned thriller with terrific location work, a surprisingly satisfying plot and a strong performance from Demi Moore.

What's it all about?
Demi Moore plays successful novelist Rachel Carson, who loses her son (Beans Balawi) in a drowning accident and moves to a remote, windswept location (supposedly a Scottish island, although it was filmed in Wales) in order to get over her loss.

Naturally, she's barely been there a day before spooky things start happening. Fortunately for Rachel, distraction is at hand in the form of a romance with kindly local lighthouse keeper Angus McCulloch (Hans Matheson). But is Angus everything he seems?

The Good
There's a pleasingly Hitchcockian feel to this entertainingly old-fashioned thriller and writer-director Craig Rosenberg pulls off several impressive twists so that you're never quite sure just where the story's going.

Demi Moore is excellent as Rachel. This is her best performance since A Few Good Men (though, admittedly, that isn't saying very much). She's also looking a lot less plastic than she did in Charlie's Angels 2 and it suits her well. In addition, there's strong support from Hans Matheson, James Cosmo (as a friendly islander) and Coupling's Kate Isitt as Rachel's best friend back in London.

The Great
The film boasts terrific location work, with gorgeous, evocative scenery throughout and a setting reminiscent of the Powell and Pressburger classic I Know Where I'm Going. There's also a superb orchestral score, courtesy of Brett Rosenberg.

That said, the thriller elements of the film are much more successful than the supernatural scenes: Rosenberg ransacks The Big Book of Spooky Cliches and uses the lot, from rearranged fridge magnets to spooky messages on an Etch-a-Sketch, and the results are mixed at best.

Worth seeing?
Ignore the critical kicking Half Light is likely to receive elsewhere – it's actually a surprisingly entertaining thriller, despite its rubbish trailer. Recommended.

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Content updated: 25/03/2019 15:35

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