A different kind of Mr Bean
, 19 Oct 2013
To be proofread: This is a reasonably made Scottish horror flick the explores a what if scenario revolving around the Sawney Bean legend. Now for those of us who had never heard of Sawney Bean before let me tell you this. Mr Bean was the semi-mythical head of a 48-member clan in 15th- or 16th-century Scotland reportedly executed for the mass murder and cannibalisation of over 1,000 people. Now, what if the modern authorities were harbouring surviving descendants to carry out their mission to express Gods word through eating and drinking their fellow men? Well, Sawney has several pluses which edge it ahead of the majority of UK based horrors one of these is the ace casting of David Hayman (SCREWED) as the lead Bean. Hayman, has been labouring as a bit-part actor and sometime director north of the border for decades but has virtually never scored a leading role. Here he comes across every bit as demented as fellow Scotsman Peter Mullan as the most vocal yet just as unhinged member of the clan. Another plus is the atmosphere and pacing of the plot. The locations and some of the plot flourishes are interesting but ultimately Sawney just ends up being as dumb, badly acted (by the remainder of the cast) and very poorly plotted. The lead actors choke on a terrible script, completely dopey plot turns and ultimately Sawney is left dangling around Haymans towering, insane performance. Not a lot of detail is gone into as to why the Sawney Clan are made up of homunculi, coke sniffing parkour addicts with dog faces, giant ladies and spooky cataracts. How one of the clan got into a high ranking government official is a great mystery but partially explains how the cannibals could have gone undetected for quite so long. Although its kind of entertaining, how did the freak twins learn martial arts? Maybe these questions deserve answering because the film is largely straight faced. If it had been a broad attempt at comedy exploitation in the vein of Peter Jacksons Braindead, such scrutiny could be swept aside. Efforts to generate gravity and a sense of pathos are thorougly lost in the plot mix thanks to a bunch of light weight, pale, and generally weak good guys. The good guys are generally crusaded by a loan English journalist played by unknown, Samuel Feeney. Hes OK, but not suitable for a role that required more than showing up and wrinkling his brow and saying his lines in earnest. Hes too dim. Hes more interested in the story and puts others and his own safety to one side on too many occasions. The ending is a flurry of events and works quite well as the Clans lair is well realised and interesting to look at. But yet, we are firmly entrenched in The Hills Have Eyes / Wolf Creek territory here. It rarely fails to better or offer anything new or even tech us all that much about the legend of Sawney Bean. 4 out of 10 Youll see many worse horror flicks from the UK. This is entertaining enough, elevated by a memorable lead performance from character actor David Hayman. The plot runs on rails but it fails to deliver by expanding on its central legend. A weak script and stupid plot also harm a potentially excellent horror yarn. Recommended if you liked the Hills Have Eyes remake or Wrong Turn. britpic . word press. com
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