Puppeteer Philip (Sean Harris) returns to the desolate rural town of his upbringing, intending to slay his demons by destroying Possum, the bizarre, spider-shaped figurine he carries everywhere, which has a strange hold over him. But on returning, he finds his estranged stepfather (Alun Armstong) still in residence, another presence from his past who seems to be an equally domineering presence. To escape his nightmare Philip will have to confront both of them.
Writer-director Matthew Holness is best known for satirising British Gothic in his comedy series Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, but humour is jettisoned here for this deeply disturbing and singular psychological horror. From Darkplace though, Holness does retain his reverence for classic British horror, shooting in the bleak Norfolk flatlands of classic ghost stories like A Warning to the Curious, and enlisting the Radiophonic Workshop to provide the eerie score. And in line with such films, Holness favours subtle, implied and ambiguous horrors over explicit shocks and gore, with the film building an atmosphere of growing dread through the interplay between Harris and veteran performer Armstrong (Get Carter, Braveheart). For the most part it's Harris' show, though, and fans of this creepily crow-like character actor will admire him in this all-too rare leading role.
Horror 1973 88 mins Director: Robin Hardy
Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward star in the folk horror classic about a policemen investigating an island given over to paganism.
Horror 1999 81 mins Director: Eduardo Sanchez
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Horror 2017 98 mins Director: John McPhail
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Horror 2017 98 mins Director: Jeremy Dyson
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Horror 2017 112 mins Director: Aaron Moorhead
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Horror 2017 95 mins Director: David Freyne
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Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film
Drama 2000 13 mins Director: John Hardwick
A woman finds that death will not part her from her deceased lover.
Horror 1972 91 mins Director: Don Sharp
The greatest zombie-biker, toad-worshipping-Satanists horror in British cinema is an undisputed cult classic brimming with exciting action and fantastical mayhem.
War 1968 27 mins Director: Tony Scott
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Children's 1976 59 mins Director: James Hill
Victorian orphan Alice Harvey - arriving to live at her great uncle's spooky house - is frightened by a mysterious, dark-clad intruder.
Children's 1985 68 mins Director: John Krish
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Children's 1984 61 mins Director: Andrew Bogle
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Featuring Sean Harris
Crime 2009 103 mins Director: Daniel Barber
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Drama 2015 113 mins Director: Justin Kurzel
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Thriller 2014 99 mins Director: Yann Demange
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Musical 1985 90 mins Director: Alan Clarke
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Comedy 2011 17 mins Director: Matthew Holness
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Comedy 2018 90 mins Director: Jim Cummings
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Drama 2018 101 mins Director: Tom Harper
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Drama 2018 124 mins Director: Christiaan Olwagen
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Comedy 1967 21 mins Director: Ian Fordyce
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Highlights in this episode include the terrific ‘Art Gallery’ sketch, with a Gumby-esque Terry Jones exhibited as a living art work.