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Movie Review

The Messenger


Starring: Robert Sheehan, Joely Richardson, Lily Cole, Tamzin Merchant, David O’Hara and Jack Fox
Director: David Blair
Production Company: Gateway Films / Ratio Films
Distributor: Metrodome
Certificate: 15
Running time: 97 mins
Opens 18 September 2015

Jack is a young man who has been plagued by the dead since childhood. They appear to him and harass him into acting on their behalf. It is ruining his life. He drinks a lot and takes pills to help him sleep. When the victim of a murder keeps appearing to him, Jack takes action for some piece of mind. But the man’s widow considers him a sick and twisted individual. When Jack later realises the woman’s life is in immediate danger, he reacts. However, his estranged sister and the investigating police officer think he has mental issues which stem from his childhood, and just want to ‘help’ by institutionalising him...

Review imageThis isn’t really a ghost story; in fact, it’s only a supernatural-by-numbers. There are no scary spectres or violent poltergeists – only annoying individuals (and one in particular) who steps out from behind something to regularly niggle the life out of Jack. There are no special effects to highlight the netherworld aspect of the story. The most accurate description I could give is to say The Messenger is exactly the same in format as an episode from the TV series Afterlife. Just substitute Lesley Sharp with Robert Sheehan and you wouldn’t know the difference. Except maybe that Afterlife had the budget to throw in a ghostly effect now and then.

Review imageSheehan of Misfits fame plays Jack so introverted that it is initially difficult to sympathise with his character, although it does slowly grow on you. I would say that his eyes convey infinitely more than his voice does. There is the nice little back story of Jack’s troubled childhood, incorporating his father leaving his mother because of her sexual promiscuity with others, and his father’s ultimate suicide. Jack’s father is the first dead person to have appeared to him, which speaks volumes to the psychiatrist he is sent to in the last quarter of the film. After everything that happens, it’s still left ambiguous as to whether Jack’s gift or curse is genuine. And the movie just ends leaving more than a handful of unanswered questions.

So, an average outing garnering an average rating. The bottom line is that it’s well made, but far too long for a movie with unexciting content.


Ty Power

Screen shot

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