Tuesday, 30 August 2011



It's always a little frustrating when a film reaches a fork in the narrative between two possible resolutions and promptly goes for the less interesting option. Particularly so if the film has already gone to considerable lengths to suggest the road less travelled, more scenic and headed for a far more exciting destination, before deciding to take the A1 to Stevenage yet again. On a smaller scale it's like a visually striking and fantastical sequence that turns out to be a dream as the film crash cuts into boring suburban mundanity.

The Holding is the remote farm acreage owned and run at a crippling lost by Cassie Naylor (Kierston Wareing) and her daughters, struggling to keep the place going after her obnoxious husband Dean disappeared. But a mysterious stranger named Aden (Vincent Regan) shows up one morning and immediately sets about assisting the family: sorting out the finances, taking on the neighbours who wish to acquire the Naylor land by whatever means. But who is he really? A guardian angel? A random sociopath? Or even Dean's ghost - after all, didn't Cassie kill him herself and bury his corpse up on the hill? After all, Aden has Dean's wedding ring....

But having created a story which could have either had a chilling and supernatural resolution (spot the Dean/Aden anagram) or a dull prosaic one, why go for the dull and prosaic? Really, why go for Ambridge when you can go for Dallas? It's an appropriately cold and grim and muddy film but it's not much fun and once they've decided on Option B (incidentally turning it into a reworking of The Stepfather in the process) there's only moderate tension.


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