Life & Culture

Inland review: Folk horror with promise

Mark Rylance stars in psychological thriller about a troubled young man searching for closure


Cert: 15, Released on Friday | ★★★✩✩

Set in and around the Forest of Dean, this ambitious psychological thriller cum modern folk horror explores the fractured identity of a troubled young man (played by newcomer Rory Alexander) as he searches for closure.

Featuring a typically brilliant turn from multi-award winning film and stage actor Mark Rylance, Inland is the ninth film to be released by Verve Pictures through their First Feature

Distribution support scheme supported by funding from the British Film Institute.
After his release from a mental health facility after what appears to be a breakdown, a troubled young man — he is simply referred to as The Man throughout — returns to his hometown in search of his missing mother.

Welcomed with open arms by his amiable father figure Dunleavy (Rylance), and friend of aforementioned missing mother, the young man is forced to face old demons in his journey through the dreamlike spaces of rural England.

Drawing on ancient English folklore such as The Green Man, as well as his own cinematic influences — David Lynch being just one of those influences — writer director Fridtjof Ryder delivers an ambitious, if often uneven, folktale full of intrigue and mystery.

Applying that famous Lynchian eeriness to the proceedings, the young filmmaker has managed to deliver a fresh and decidedly exciting twist on the folk horror subgenre.

Unfortunately, not all of it works. But there is still enough here to be impressed by that makes it worth seeing.

While the movie is often elevated by some impressive performances, I do feel as though Ryder gets a bit lost on his own journey. Here’s hoping his next film has more structure and a much stronger story.

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