MERCY FALLS (2023) Reviewed by Steve Kirkham

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MERCY FALLS (2023)

3 stars
Bingo Films. Digital. Out Now

Mercy Falls Opens strongly with a young girl and her father coming across a felled horse in the forest – Dad puts it out of it’s misery, splattering his offspring with blood. This is a traumatic memory of our lead protagonist Rhona (Lauren Lyle).

Some years later, grown up Rhona is in a car with Heather (Layla Kirk) and Heather’s boyfriend Scott (James Watterson) on their way to meet Donnie (Joe Rising) to head out into the wilds of Scotland to find the remote cabin her recently passed Dad has left to Rhona. She might regret this inheritance!

On the way, they pass a hitchhiker but don’t stop – after all she might be a psycho!

Arriving at a pub as a starting off point, they realise that Donnie has also brought along Andy (Eoin Sweeney) who they all think is a bit of a dick… true to form, this fifth wheel, manages to spill a drink all over Heather whilst they are planning their hike out to the bequeathal.

Wouldn’t you know it, in the loo whilst trying to dry off, Heather meets the slightly intense Carla (Nicolette McKeown) who is, of course, the girl they ignored on the road. As Carla shows kindness towards her, she suggests to her compatriots that this stranger tags along – especially as she seems to know the area and how to navigate.

Inevitably tensions rise amongst the group as they set up camp at the titular Mercy Falls. Next morning, an argument leads to one of them being seriously injured and ending up dead! Carla takes charge of the situation and makes them all implicit in the death.

Thus begins a quest for survival as they try and locate the inherited abode. Will they survive as things start to fall apart? The flashbacks that pop up throughout are initially confusing but eventually make sense as the plot progresses. The cast is good, with believable interplay between them and Nicolette McKeown is especially notable as the interloper with a questionable past.

Benefitting from great locations in Scotland this isn’t wildly original but what it does, it does well and there is a nicely staged finale in a cave.

Steve Kirkham