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October 20, 2022


2018 / Matthew Holness / Freevee / Not-rated


Quick Thoughts
  • Waiting to reveal the puppet is smart for this film.

  • Eraserhead vibes for sure.

  • There’s something to be said about some British protagonists being frail and unsure.

  • Moody. Mood. Moo. Mo.

  • I’ve lost interest…

This film has won a couple of awards, which I found surprising considering how slow the progression is. The film asks a lot of you, the viewer. Matthew Holness wants you to bear with him as we experience the meek life of Philip and the puppet that haunts him. The way this film is shot is inspired by British public information films, which were meant to shock children into abiding by the rules. These short films would come on between children's daytime cartoons, and depict kidnappings and sometimes murder.

Once the ending of this film comes around, it’s almost frustrating, because the revelation of the film is right there the whole time, and Philip tiptoes around it, making for repetitive scenes, and actions. There are few other characters throughout this film, making interactions scarce. Instead, we’re kept company by the score which hits lows often, and wines high to indicate horror and trauma. Some may praise this film for its mood, and atmosphere, but I didn’t find the premise compelling enough.

The spider-puppet-man is goddamn creepy. The most effective parts of this film are when it moves, or turns up places it shouldn’t. According to Wiki, the spider head was crafted in only a couple of hours before the first shooting due to them being unsure of the original design. It’s supposed to appear as if it had been made from roadkill, and the face is meant to resemble Philip.

I was turned onto this film by a couple of friends, who most likely watched it in a group setting with the lights out. I can see how that can be fun. This film is a tension builder. For me, the plot wasn’t relayed well enough, and the horrors are more so traumatic than literal, which I don’t find as exciting.


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