Cuckoo 2010 ★★★½

On a second viewing, the strengths of this unusual UK chiller are all the more apparent. The most obvious frame of reference is Roman Polanski's REPULSION, with Laura Fraser in the Catherine Deneuve role, slowly becoming increasingly unhinged within the confines of her flat. She's very much the glue that holds the film together, with her flaky, twitchy performance confirming her as one of the most underrated actresses working today (and it's a pleasure to see her playing a character she can actually get her teeth into, having last watched her in the dismal DEVIL'S GATE). The additional tangents on which it goes off (some of them with no apparent connection to the central narrative) don't quite work, although Richard E. Grant's monologue about sensory perception is actually quite brilliant.

Even at 89 minutes, it does feel a little over-long - the tone is very much that of an experimental short film of the sort you might come across on Channel 4 or BBC HD in the early hours of the morning. It's a tone that works, though - off-kilter, unsettling and just slightly too weird to be mainstream. It's a shame to see this film rated so low on sites like IMDB, as it's inventive, creepy and sufficiently different from the usual UK horror fare to be worth seeking out.

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