THE PIGMAN MURDERS (2013)
Director – Stephen Patrick Kenny
Writer – Stephen Patrick Kenny
Starring – John Berry, Gerard Fallon, Eugene Horan
Studio: 88 Films
UK DVD Release Date: 29 Sep 2014
The Pigman Murders (once known as ‘Somebody’s There’) is a low budget horror film that takes place in County Galway, Ireland. Written and directed by Stephen Patrick Kelly the film stars Mark Hutchinson and Gerard Fallon as two of seven good friends who have met up to commemorate the death of an old friend with a (drink fuelled) trip into the forest.
Tensions build as some of this boisterous bunch are still holding seemingly forgotten grudges and are as prone to a quick scrap with one another as they are a can of lager or a spliff. As the group drink, smoke and banter their way deeper into the darkening wilderness ,they encounter a bloodied messenger of death and it isn’t long before they realise each of them are being stalked and hunted by a mysterious, malignant foe and must up their fight to survive the night.
Although the quote on the DVD cover says ‘Deliverance meets Blair Witch’ films like Dog Soldiers, Southern Comfort and You’re Next might also be mentioned. The very low production values work in its favour and help to make this dimly lit, stalk n’ slash across the plains film consistently unsettling as one by one this bunch of increasingly hysterical lads are picked off by (mostly) unseen pork-faced forces of evil .
The camera swirls, loops, bounds and cuts out a lot , resembling the shaky fisted VHS camcorder recording of a Grandparent rather than the roller-coaster fun-cams of Evil Dead 2 or Dusk Til Dawn 2 .This is a stylistic method that will either put some viewers off completely or help to create a sense of nauseating tension, depending on your stamina.
Director Kelly is well aware that keeping the suspense psychological and the atmosphere uneasy, with only shapes and shadows creeping in the background for most of the film, helps create a sense of impending dread and what sets this film apart from the countless other found footage horror films to be found on the lower shelves of supermarkets is the naturalistic performances and the unfamiliar and sinister setting, which begins in the mountains of the great wide Irish open yet feels genuinely claustrophobic in the grisly woods of the climax.
The background and motives of the antagonists remain so vague that this is a story that could be expanded upon and returned to and anyone agreeing with this after seeing the film is in luck, as The Pigman Murders 2 : Lost Footage is currently in production.