Shallow Ground review

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Sheldon Wilson's bleak little tale of vengeance in Nowheresville, USA starts well, but soon flounders under the weight of its plot. A teenage boy covered in blood stumbles out of the woods, terrifying the local police. In one hand he carries a hunting knife - the same blade used the previous year in a grisly woodland slaying. From this alarming premise Wilson builds a creepy, lo-fi atmosphere that's reminiscent of the indie horror classics of the '70s, as the befuddled deputies face up to mounting evidence of a supernatural force.

Sadly, things fall apart as ambience gives way to a series of gory but uninteresting set-pieces. The script tangles itself in terrible knots trying to maintain the mystery and inevitably trips over its own feet. The cast, led by craggy no-mark Timothy V Murphy, skip blithely into danger at every opportunity and mouth their creaky lines with barely suppressed disbelief.

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