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By James Whittington, Sunday 10th August 2014
Soulmate - DVD Review
Extras: Commentary by Axelle Carolyn and Neil Marshall, FrightFest interviews with Axelle Carolyn, Neil Marshall and Anna Walton, Two short films by Axelle Carolyn, The Last Post and The Halloween Kid
This debut movie from the multi-talented Axelle Carolyn has to be one of the most inspired first features I’ve seen in the last few years. A ghost story with heart, the film is a strong contender for the most atmospheric movie of the year.
After suffering a personal tragedy, Audrey (Anna Walton) retreats to an isolated country cottage to hide from the world. But as terrifying visions begin to haunt every corner, she soon finds out that she is not alone. As Audrey seeks to unlock the mystery surrounding the home’s ghostly owner she must also decide - is he friend or foe?
With its dark tone and constant themes of lost love and belonging, Soulmate is not your normal paranormal offering which makes it all the more original and entertaining. Gently littered with subtle plot strands, the film takes the grief suffered by Audrey into a very real world where the supernatural idea becomes secondary but feel natural. The notion of communication between the dead and the living is introduced slowly and with great effect showing Axelle has the skill to chill the audience without freaking them out or losing sympathy with the lead character.
The cast are nothing short of superb with Walton delivering a solid, well-rounded performance of a woman drowning in grief. She is supported by Tom Wisdom, Tanya Myers and Nick Brimble who give their respected characters a sense of natural depth which allows the paranormal plotline to reveal itself in a very natural way.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing the short features Axelle has produced over the last few years will know her artistic style and keen eye for the perfect shot. Soulmate is packed with these sorts of set-ups and make it a memorable and emotional experience.
In short, an outstanding debut from one of the most exciting new directors out there.
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