Take 5 students, a degree in the occult, a creepy old halls of residence, and what do you get? The perfect setting for a bit of ouija board and devil worship.
From the onset, it’s easy to think that you know how it’s going to pan out. But this little flick has more to offer than you might expect.
It has been a while since we reviewed a British film, so we were glad to receive Credo. There’s no doubt that I was a little sceptical when I saw that it starred Stephen Gately, but seeing as the lead was MyAnna Buring (Descent, Lesbian Vampire Killers) I put aside my hatred of cheap pop music and hit ‘play’.
A halls of residence at a Catholic university is chosen by Gately and his student friends as the perfect setting for an experiment. The object of which is – to discover whether the devil exists.
Armed with some candles and limited knowledge of demonology the group of 5 head up to a remote tower in the building to begin contact with the ‘other side’.
Early on in the proceedings, one of the gang goes chicken and walks out, leaving his friends unprotected (5 members are essential for this type of ritual) and as a result all but he are dead by morning, after supposedly committing suicide.
Some years later Alice (Buring) and her friends are students attending the same university. After losing their accommodation, they resort to staying in the spooky, abandoned halls of residence. Strangely they are also a group of 5, and predictably, familiar events start to unfold as the apparent evil forces reveal themselves.
Generally, the film is of a good standard. For an independent British film, it’s glossy, it’s professionally finished and it’s of a standard which you could easily mistake for being Channel 4 or BBC funded.
The cast are decent, each holding their own in this ‘bordering on the formulaic’ (for the most part) storyline. Gately as Simon is even pretty good, although fortunately he doesn’t feature much (I have nothing against his acting, I just can’t see beyond Boyzone!).
Myanna Buring is excellent, and really takes the film away from mediocracy. The script is a little odd at times, but she works around that and makes the role her own.
On the downside, I wasn’t too sure about the inclusion of an American character, Jock (that’s actually his name, not a reference to his high-school status). It seemed a bit unnecessary and as if it may have been a ploy to appeal to the American market. His stereotyped ‘whoop whoop! Paaartay on dudes’ behaviour was a little distracting. When the blood-letting began, I was eager for him to get ‘offed’ quickly.
The story itself is solid enough. Group of students, scary demons, a crazed stranger who could be a killer. And in the group, your typical teen horror movie characters: the cute lead, the brash jock, the withdrawn geek, the ethnic minority and the religious one.
And so I was lulled into a false sense of security, happily watching and correctly predicting events as the film bubbled on before me.
But just as the film approached the end, and I began to feel a tad unsatisfied, it took a big twist that I wasn’t expecting. A twist that actually made the film for me.
You know, one of those events that can keep you thinking for a while after the film, coming up with different explanations and serving as good conversation between you and your film buddies.
And there’s nothing more that I love, than a movie that does the unexpected.
Credo is a film that stands proud with the best of British horror. What it lacks in budget and finesse, it makes up for in grit and imagination. It’s solidly shot, constructed and communicated, and should serve as inspiration for any other British horror movie makers who aren’t pulling their weight at the moment.
For the elements of originality, gets a lot of kudos (or should that be credos) from me.
Check it out on DVD and Blu-Ray now. Quick! Before it gets exorcised back to the dark realm from whence it came!
Additional film information: Credo (2008)