Oddity SXSW Review

March 9, 202480/1005 min
Starring
Gwilym Lee, Carolyn Bracken, Tadhg Murphy
Written by
Damian Mc Carthy
Directed by
Damian Mc Carthy
Run Time
1h 38min
Overall Score
Rating Summary

This is the strange thing with me; for some reason, I don’t get scared by scary movies very often. I don’t know if I am just fearless or if I have seen so many movies that I can predict their beats before they happen. Whatever it is, while everyone else is jumping in their seats, I usually just sit there, still enjoying but not really frightened. Well, with Damien McCarthy’s new film Oddity, I have joined that other group, as this movie delivered quite a few moments that sent shivers down my spine.

In some remote location, a woman named Dani (Carolyn Bracken) is staying the night at the new house she and her husband Ted (Gwilym Lee) recently purchased. Ted works nights, and Dani is there alone, sleeping in a tent, as no furniture has arrived. On this night, Dani is going to be offered an impossible choice when she hears a knock on her door. Outside is a man who asks Dani if he can come in, as he saw someone enter her house. Dani questions the man, but noises in the house give belief to the man’s claim. This opening scene sets the table while also baiting the hook in its audience that never releases until the end.

We fast forward to a year later, and we don’t know what happened that night, other than Dani is no longer alive. It is then we meet Darcy (also played by Bracken), who is Dani’s blind twin sister, a medium, and the owner of an Oddity shop. Darcy can’t let that night go and wants to understand what exactly happened to her sister. That need takes her to Ted and Dani’s house, which Ted now shares with his new girlfriend, where Darcy asks to stay so she can once and for all find the truth. McCarthy, who delivered the stellar Caveat in 2021, doesn’t play by horror movie clichés. No, instead, he weaves a lot of things together, in this case, a ghost story that also dabbles in witchcraft, after its opening slasher setup. It is for that reason that Oddity is often unpredictable, and when you add how atmospheric the film is, chills and scares become common, even if you never know when they will come.

Oddity is simply one of the better horror movies I have seen in a while, as it is menacing, and at times mind-bending. McCarthy delivers plenty of reasons to sleep with a light on after watching his movie, none more so than the life-size wooden man who helps Darcy with her investigation. This wooden man looms large as it sits and appears to move with its mouth agape, in what appears as a silent scream. This what’s known as “nightmare fuel”, as McCarthy tells a compelling, spooky story that is so satisfying and sick at the same time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

The Exorcism

The Exorcism

June 21, 2024
Thelma

Thelma

June 21, 2024
Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2

June 14, 2024