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Available October 14, 2021 12:30 PM UTC
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A boy deals with the loss of his mother by creating a dangerous relationship with a monster rumoured to live in the woods.


Grimmfest says: A feral fairytale of childhood alienation and escalating adolescent rage, this mixes the MidWest Magic Realism of Ray Bradbury with the unsentimental, ruthless clarity of S.E. Hinton's sour studies of teenage outsiderdom. There are echoes of Spielberg in the film's boy's-eye view of events, and of Guillermo del Toro and Issa Lopez in its deft melding of the fantastic and the realistic, the grounding of the allegorical elements with accumulated naturalistic detail, while the stark portrait of disaffected youth in some miserable small town environment recalls Tim Hunter's RIVER'S EDGE. But none of these points of reference quite capture the eerie uniqueness of the film's approach; the skilful interweaving of the more overt horror movie tropes within such a detailed and downbeat depiction of dead-end, small-town life, the way in which we are kept guessing about the exact nature of the creature, the Virago – very clearly a manifestation of the boy's own worst, darkest, most destructive and violent impulses, but is it real, or simply a product of an overly vivid and violent imagination? Sharply played, with a remarkable lead turn from August Maturo, and quite surprisingly brutal, both emotionally and literally, this is an off-beat, off-kilter gem.

  • Year
    2021
  • Runtime
    85 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Northern UK premiere
  • Rating
    18
  • Director
    Jeremiah Kipp
  • Screenwriter
    Jeremiah Kipp
  • Producer
    Joe Benedetto, Artisha Mann Cooper, Mike Manning
  • Cast
    August Maturo, Mike Manning, Libe Barer, Mirabelle Lee, Dan Hedaya
  • Cinematographer
    Dominick Sivill
  • Editor
    Katie Dillon