What a disappointment The Ferryman is.
The premise is sound, a young woman fails to commit suicide and after recovering is pursued by an evil being that demands ‘payment’. While it’s not explicitly stated it’s pretty obvious that this being is Charon, the ferryman of Hades. In Greek mythology he carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.
Exciting idea, right?
Unfortunately, the film fails to really take that idea and make something of it.
From the moment the main cast are introduced, there is a problem. One that is very difficult to overlook. Mara (Nicola Holt) is supposed to be a teenager but looks way older and her father, Roland (Garth Maunders) looks the same age. If he is her actual father then he had her when he was like 10. It’s bad casting and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense taking you out of the movie before it’s really got going.
Then there are the movies attempt to be ‘artsy’.
It is a well-shot movie and some scenes do provide atmosphere but it’s a little too in love with itself. Spending way too long dwelling on shots almost as if it’s trying to say to you ‘look, see how pretty this is? See how moody it seems?’
It quickly becomes tiresome and you end up hoping that it will just get on with the horror.
Sadly, The Ferryman doesn’t seem to know what that means so assaults your ears with heavy handed sound. Some of it works (such as the bellowing horns) but other times the random scratches, screeches and sharp jolts just irritate.
One of the better things about the movie though is the cast. While no-one is worth raving about, both Holt and Maunders do well. The latter gets to flex his acting muscles in a restrained role.
It’s not enough to make this a worthwhile watch though. Far too much of it just leaves you feeling cold. We could have had something great here so it’s a real pity.