Reviews

Review: Outcast

It probably seems that I don’t like anything I watch. But, that’s definitely not the case. I just watch a lot of really shitty movies.

Outcast is a mediocre tale of Celtic witchcraft and secret societies. Mary is being sought by an occult group intent upon killing her son, who has a non-ironic mullet. The group sends an assassin armed with ancient mythical powers to seek out and kill the lad. The assassin invokes his magical powers by killing and gutting land fowl. It seems the boy possesses mystical powers which he has yet to fully realize or harness. Thus, the reason for his plotted demise. Against the advisement of his mother, the boy begins a flirtation with danger that could cost him and his mother their lives.  

The film is co-written and directed by Colm McCarthy. I wasn’t particularly impressed with his directorial prowess or his ability as a writer. The whole film has a lackluster quality to it.  

Outcast is all over the place. It never fully finds its footing. It dabbles in both the horror and supernatural thriller genres, though it never fully commits to either one.   The same could be said for the pacing – it’s up and down. It’s fast, it’s slow. But, Outcast never settles on a consistent pace, providing the viewer with an unsettling feeling.

It also jumps around a lot. It’s constantly bouncing back and forth between characters we’ve been introduced to but don’t have anything invested in. They are not that interesting and they all blur together. Unlike other more polished films, Outcast never inspires the viewer to get behind the film’s leads. At most, we feel a sense of indifference in regard to the well being of Mary and her mullet-ed son. 

I was pretty sure that I was going to hate Outcast from the beginning, but about 30 minutes in, the film seems like it’s going to find its way and it gets a little more interesting. There are a couple legitimate moments of suspense as Mary and the supernatural assassin play cat and mouse on the city streets, but this is just a tease, because it doesn’t actually go anywhere worthwhile from there. After a brief and misleading break in the monotony, It goes right back to being not that interesting or engaging. 

The practical effects are ok. They are nothing to marvel over, but they serve their purpose. The CG effects are terrible. They are some of the worst I have seen. They were on par with the first attempts at CGI, years ago. We see a spiney greenish colored creature, throughout the film, that was done digitally. It is an absolute abomination to the world of special effects.  

The cast has such thick accents that it’s difficult to understand what they are saying and the screening copy I watched had really poor audio. Poor audio quality coupled with thick accents made for a challenging viewing experience. As a result, I probably missed some of Outcast’s more subtle nuances. Although, I heard and saw all I needed to form an opinion. 

Outcast is pretty sexually explicit. There are scenes from the film that could have been lifted from a soft-core porno flick. They don’t help the film’s credibility or increase its watch-ability. It comes off as an ill fated attempt to pacify the audience members looking for cheap thrills. 

There’s also a lot of unnecessary nudity. Small, saggy, sweaty, weird boobie nudity. I get it, you need to get naked to cast a spell, but for the benefit of the viewing audience, please just shoot Katie Dickie from the neck up. She is not an attractive naked woman. I really hope she keeps her space suit on in Prometheus

Outcast doesn’t waste a lot of time explaining itself or what’s going on. As an only marginally engaged and highly impatient viewer, I would have shut this off after fifteen minutes of no clear direction. Alas, I have a responsibility to the movie viewing public to get to the bottom of what is and is not worth your precious time. And, after three ill fated attempts to watch this film – I finally made it through on the fourth try – I can tell you that Outcast isn’t worth your time. Outcast isn’t a complete miss, but it’s close enough. There are plenty of other films that are worth 90 minutes of your time.  

The film is currently available on DVD. However, it doesn’t work as a horror film. It doesn’t work as a supernatural thriller. It barely works on any level. Save your money and avoid it.