Film Review: The Winter Lake

There’s nothing as queer as folk, and the smaller the community, the stranger its denizens. Small isolated villages and towns are often a law unto themselves, with unwritten rules and taboos silently governing the strangest things. If you’ve ever lived in one of these places you will know just how quickly gossip spreads and how outsiders are often treated. There’s often suspicion, scrutiny and sometimes antagonism. The Winter Lake follows a family as they return to their roots.

After the death of her father, Elaine (Charlie Murphy) returns from England to take up the family home in rural Ireland. She’s accompanied by her son Tom (Anson Boon), who has a few problems with his temper. As she knows no one there, Elaine relies on a friendly neighbour Col (Mark McKenna) to help them settle in whilst his daughter Hollie (Emma Mackey) strikes up a tentative friendship with the troubled teen. However, when Tom makes a gruesome discovery in the lake, once buried secrets bubble to the surface.

The Winter Lake is a descent into the darker side of relationships. Phil Sheerin’s film doesn’t pull any punches and as you’d expect it’s pretty bleak. Whilst the plot is quite straightforward, it succeeds due to fine performances from the four leads. They balance each other out nicely. The story itself starts off on a tight spring and rapidly uncoils. The Winter’s Lake is an intriguing debut feature form a new voice in Irish cinema.

The Winter Lake is available on Digital Download from 15 March.

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