Review: Love Eternal

Love Eternal
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Director: Brendan Muldowney
Cert: Club
Genre: Drama
Starring: Robert de Hoog
Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins

When Ian (Robert de Hoog) finds the body of a hanged teenage girl in the woods, he retreats into his bedroom and becomes obsessed with mortality. Deadened, distant, and decidedly festering, there’s something autistic about Ian’s interest in patterns – leaves, snowflakes, the heat death of the universe – and in his remove from society.

He crawls the web in search of ghoulish new material. But just as he stalks death, it, in turn, stalks him. A series of discombobulating fatalities casts Ian in the unlikely role of suicide assistant, a voluntary position that brings the intriguing Naomi (Polly McIntosh) into his life. Will she act as much-needed catalyst in this increasingly creepy tale?

At first glance, Irish writer-director Brendan Muldowney's second feature recalls other pointedly placeless Irish-European co-productions as Milo or Kelly & Victor : accents, landscapes and licence plates are more likely to confuse than clarify.

But Love Eternal grinds these slippery signifiers to work in service of the otherworldly material. Transposing Japanese author Kei Oishi's novel Loving the Dead to Europe is an audacious undertaking: many better-known talents and grander budgets have floundered on attempts to bring Japanese horror-style wraiths to a western setting. But from the opening sequence – with its geometric animations and Bart Westerlaken's angular electronic score – Love Eternal works on its own dark terms.

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic