Road Rash Reviews

The Moor Cinema Review

4 stars, brooding and deeply atmospheric horror tale.

The Moor is a 2024 British folk horror, written by Paul Thomas and directed by Chris Cronin, both of whom make their very impressive feature debut with this film.

It will be in UK cinemas from 14th June and on Digital HD from 1st July 2024, courtesy of Bulldog Film Distribution.

“People have to know what I’m doing. And that means the media. But after all they’ve done, it can’t be them and it can’t be tainted like that. That’s why we have to be the ones to do this.”

The year is 1996 and in the small Yorkshire town of Holme Moor, two kids are planning to steal from the local corner shop. The young boy, Danny (Dexter Sol Ansell – Christmas on Mistletoe Farm) is to go into the shop and say he’s lost his father, while Claire (Billie Suggett) takes the sweets. They arrange to meet outside, but when Danny doesn’t show, Claire goes back in only to find him gone. It’s okay, says the shopkeeper, his Dad came and got him. But it wasn’t his Dad and he becomes the first of five children to be taken that year.

Twenty five years later, due to a mistake in the police investigation, the perpetrator is about to be released from prison having only been handed down one life sentence. Danny’s father Bill (David Edward-Robertson – Maina) is trying to prevent his release and has enlisted the help of local Moor Ranger Liz (Vicki Hackett – The Selfish Giant) to search The Moor for fresh evidence.

He also enlists a now grown up Claire (Sophia La Porta – Censor, Been So Long), who returns to her hometown to help him get the word out. She speaks to Thornley (Bernard Hill – Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), the original investigating officer, who shows her the sheer scale of The Moor. She wonders how Bill is choosing his search area, until she catches him with psychic Alex (Mark Peachey – Cyberlante), who is divining locations for him.

Along with Eleanor (Elizabeth Dormer Phillips – Off the Rails), Alex’s daughter and a powerful medium, they head off to search for evidence. But what really happened all those years ago and what will they find on The Moor?

“Well, the odds were never good. Even if you were searching in a specific area, the chances of finding someone in that kind of terrain…and now, 25 years later.”

The Moor is a brilliantly made film. It is brooding and deeply atmospheric and makes full use of the super creepy location. Living as we do in the Staffordshire Moorlands, not unlike the ones featured in this film, we are well aware of the very real sense of desolation and otherworldliness evoked by being out on the moors, even on the nicest of days and this is captured to perfection here. It is easy to believe that ancient things could lie undiscovered among the peat.

The acting performances are excellent too, everyone pulling their weight and bringing a feeling of realism to the story. In the UK of course, we all remember the Moors Murders and this manages to tap into that without being disrespectful to the families of those who lost their lives, which is something of an achievement.

There are plenty of jump scares too and although some people may have a problem with the slow pacing, I found it all to be very deliberate, every nuance there for a reason and I didn’t want it to feel rushed. There is also a pretty shocking ending which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Who knew that being stared at by sheep could be so scary? There’s certainly more to The Moor than meets the eye. Well worth a trip to the cinema.

“This place, it’s different. You feel it too, don’t you? Like it’s weighing on you, weighing you down. Like it doesn’t want us here.”

The Moor will be in UK Cinemas from 14th June and on Digital HD from 1st July

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Category: Review