Skip to main content


UK, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Genevieve Jolliffe

Horror film buffs will delight at Genevieve Jolliffe's debut. Chilling moments from classics including The Exorcist, Carrie, The Evil Dead, Poltergeist and as far back as Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), register in this clever film. Rather than approach the project as a formulaic genre piece, Jolliffe leaves the explanation for peculiar events deliberately ambiguous to heighten the drama.

Are mysterious slamming doors, bumps and evil odours the result of a ghoulish infestation or just the quirks of a run-down high-rise flat? Is the home of Lizzie, a Glasgow teenager, a hotbed of activity from the 'Other Side', is she afflicted by demonic possession or is her strange, troubling behaviour the tragic aftershock of an Ecstasy-fuelled joyride? The ambiguity perfectly suits Jollifle's hijacking of the horror film to pass comment on teenage life in the urban jungle.

Sharply outlined against the underbelly of Scottish sociely, Lizzie's troubles begin as she lies on the road after a serious car accident. Drawn toward 'the light', she is pulled back to earthly existence when revived in the emergency room. Nightmares convince her that she should have died and that something attached itself to her before she returned to life. Her behaviour is initially dismissed as teenage attention-seeking but when her mother is confronted by bizarre occurrences, profes­sional para-psychological help is sought. The synergy between the modern and the macabre is perfectly realised and Jolliffe's film largely focuses on Lizzie's mental state, guilt and anxiety.

See also...


Get Real offers up a complicated protagonist in Steven Carter, a 16 year old living in suburban Basingstoke. He has no qualms about picking up older men but hasn't summoned the courage to inform his ... More »


Land Girls is a beautiful, lush period drama which places Britain's women centre-stage. As part of a British war effort during WWII, three adventuresome young women take to the fields to farm while ... More »


In his most personal film, Mike Figgis has created a beautiful and multilayered work. The Loss of Sexual Innocence is a complex, yet powerfully emotive film with a segmented structure overarched by ... More »


Tim Roth's powerhouse drama about a working-class family torn apart by incest and parental abuse was one of the highlights of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Informed by the gritty urban ... More »


The Somme, First of July, 1916. What Saving Private Ryan did for Word War II Europe and Apocalypse Now did for jungle conflict, William Boyd's shattering The Trench does for the muddy, bloody killing ... More »


Jude (Jude Law) is dead. Eleven of his closest friends gather at the wake to reminisce, grieve and comfort his distraught widow, Sadie (Sadie Frost). Sadie has a secret to reveal: prior to his death ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director