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Helen review

A potentially powerful and chilling drama that never quite takes off

When student Joy goes missing, the police stage a reconstruction of her last known moments. ‘Playing’ her is fellow scholar Helen – a care home orphan where Joy had a loving family background.

Gradually Helen finds herself drawn into the missing girl’s life, and even starts falling for her boyfriend.

It’s an intriguing premise – but this debut feature from short filmmakers Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor never gets up to speed. It feels like a first draft, with some painfully stilted dialogue.

In compensation, there’s some fine widescreen photography, and a cool, watchful performance from first-timer Annie Townsend in the lead.

Philip Kemp

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Available platformsMovie