Director: Phil Sheerin
Writer: David Turpin (Screenplay)
Starring: Emma Mackey, Charlie Murphy, Mark McKenna, Michael McElhatton, Anson Boon, Ally Ni Chiarain
Plot: After making a grim discovery in a seasonal lake, a withdrawn teenager discovers the truth about his neighbours, a father and daughter harbouring sinister secrets.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Winter Lake starts as Tom (Boon) and his mother Elaine (Murphy) are looking to get their lives back on track by moving away to an Irish village. Tom has caused trouble in the past, with this looking to be his fresh start. He meets Holly (Mackey) the neighbour who has been harbouring a dark secret, with her father Ward (McElhatton).
As Tom starts to get to know Holly, he starts to learn about her troubles, while still wanting to know what the secret they have been keeping really is.
Thoughts on The Winter Lake
Characters & Performances – Tom is the young man that has found himself getting into trouble in the past, this has seen him relocating with his mother to try and put those mistakes behind them. He keeps to himself most days, prefer that to being around others, until he makes a discovery which will shock him. He doesn’t know who to trust around the new area, with Holly being the one he would want to trust, even if she is involved in the bigger secret. Anson Boon does a good job here, making his character feel distant in every scene, showing just how complex his character is meant to be. Holly is the neighbour that Tom starts to get to know, she has a secret and has been living a life that isn’t anything like what she is known for outside her home. She does come off friendly and sees Tom as her way out of the trapped life she seems to be in. Emma Mackey is strong in her role, giving her character the strength shown despite having a tortured soul. Elaine is the mother of Tom’s, she has made the decision to try and give the two a fresh start, wanting to car for her son but at times feeling helpless. Charlie Murphy does well in the supporting role here, giving us everything we need. Ward is Holly’s father that feels like he needs to fix the problem they have been facing, becoming a threat to Tom. Michael McElhatton does bring us a creepy character that will always feel like he will be problem in the film.
Story – The story here follows a mother and son looking to rebuild their life, only to find themselves dealing with a problem they have discovered from their neighbour who is looking to keep something a secret. The story does give us a coming-of-age tale about finding yourself in the world after mistakes, which will come from doing the right thing and letting family into your life. We do get a mystery involved too, which will offer the threat to Tom and what it might mean to his life if he isn’t careful. The story does have a moody atmosphere to everything that is going on too.
Themes – The Winter Lake is a thriller that will give us a big mystery about what Tom finds, which will play into the bigger picture of is going on, which helps by showing how a small village will always have secrets about it.