Saturday, October 30, 2021

Seagull Review: A Mysterious Thriller That Doesn't Quite Soar

Release date: September 27, 2021
Running time: 84 minutes
Written and Directed By: Peter Blach
Writers: Jessica Hynes, Gabrielle Sheppard, Adam Radcliffe, Miranda Beinart-Smith, Rosie Steel, Paul Forman

In a rundown seaside town, Geoff looks after his partner Janet, her daughter Violet, and his beloved 8-year-old granddaughter Lily. One day Geoff is confronted by Thorn, an aggressive stranger, who runs away leaving a note from Janet's other daughter Rose, who has returned after disappearing 8 years ago. Thorn pushes Rose towards violence and, as her campaign of intimidation intensifies, Geoff’s measured life spirals out of control. Why has Rose returned and what is Geoff really scared of? As the seagulls settle for the night, the 8-year-long rift between Rose and Geoff is about to be settled – once and for all.

Seagull has a mysterious start with a brief introduction to the main character and her predicament.  The film doesn't just start mysterious, it keeps plenty from you as the story progresses, causing the viewer some confusion as it goes through the mystery.  And the film has a definite indie feel, with a small town mystery and predicament.  And although the film has a sense of dread, it just doesn't have enough dread to make this a horror movie or a mystery. 

But Seagull just isn't that interesting.  There is a mystery that becomes pretty obvious after about the first half.  By the time that there is a big reveal, you have already figured out what is happening.  And overall the writing and storytelling just aren't that compelling. It seems like the production did what it could with the budget and time that it had, but for me it just wasn't something that held my interest.  And the investigation into the psychological aspects, while noble, just didn't do much to enhance my enjoyment.  I will say that the antagonistic entity in this film is well done; it looks like an evil corruption of one of the main subjects of the film; but it also is just not that scary.  And despite the film being named The Seagull, the connection to the bird and the title is not concrete.  Overall, I wanted to like this film but it didn't have enough in it to make it a compelling experience.  

Seagull has a mysterious setup and exploration of grief and psychology, but the mystery and story do not do enough to hold the viewer's interest. 

Pass on it.

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Seagull is available in digitally and on demand on September 27, 2021.  

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