DVD For Those in Peril

DVD For Those in Peril
DVD For Those in Peril
Run time: 92 min
Rating: 6.3
Genres: Drama
Director: Paul Wright
Writers: Paul Wright
Stars: George MacKay, Kate Dickie, Michael Smiley
Aaron, a young misfit living in a remote Scottish fishing community, is the lone survivor of a strange fishing accident that claimed the lives of five men including his older brother. Spurred on by sea-going folklore and local superstition, the village blames Aaron for this tragedy, making him an outcast amongst his own people. Steadfastly refusing to believe that his brother has died, he sets out to recover him and the rest of men. Written by Protagonist Pictures
Plot Keywords: accident, outcast, village, scottish, folk tale
Country: UK
Release Date: 4 October 2013 (UK)


  1. The Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 Presents:

    Writer, Director Paul Wright creates a beautiful poetic tale, exploring the power of love and loss in his deep, visceral and emotionally charged feature debut.

    Aaron, an awkward outsider in his small fishing community, returns home after surviving the boating tragedy that claimed the lives of all else aboard, including his elder brother Michael (Jordan Young). Aaron, who feels increasingly frightened and isolated, can remember no details of what happened. He not only struggles with the guilt felt from being the only survivor, but the guilt imposed on him by a community who will not readily forgive him for being alive, while their loved ones are dead.

    In his loneliness and anguish, Aaron reaches out Michael's fiancée (Nichola Burley) which fuels the communities suspicions and anger further, in particular Nicola's father (Michael Smiley).

    "Do you think if you believe anything enough, it'll become true?" asks Aaron. With his state of mind worsening by the day, Aaron, propelled by folklore and local superstition clings to the hope that Michael is still alive, and thus sets out to save him from "The devil in the ocean".

    Wright's feature debut is a strong character drama that explores psychological trauma through a visceral coloured palette and a rich, compelling and thought provoking narrative. Wright uses almost every aid at his disposal to ensure the audience feels and experiences Aarons increasing fragility, torment and state of mind, and he balances it note perfect. This is achieved through a tapestry of visual formats (Super8 footage), sound, folklore and news articles that blur the lines between reality and fantasy. These methods of storytelling never force an idea, but rather tease the audience with possibilities, allow them to draw their own conclusions.

    Wrights prominent direction and vision is felt throughout the narrative, but it must be said, his cast deserve as much recognition. George Mackay gives a powerful, sad and heartbreakingly honest performance as our troubled lead, Aaron.

    Kate Dickie provides the emotional centre of the film, and exists as Aarons only buoy in stormy waters, in a town that has outcast one of their own. Cathy performance although understated encapsulates the heartbreak and strength of a mother who wrestles with her own grief, whilst trying remain strong for her now, only remaining son. Both performances are quite simply stunning and career defining.

    It could be argued that the film becomes stagnant in its second act, refusing to move on in narrative, busying itself with visual flourishes and techniques that slow the pace. I however enjoyed these moments and found they added intrigue, beauty and mystery to an already compelling film.


    As someone I know put it, "For those in peril is as deep, scary and as beautiful as the sea itself"

    For all my other film reviews and movie ramblings head to http://www.moviereviewworld.com

  2. Borderline mental illness is not one of the most commercially appealing genres, so this is the sort of movie that has absolutely no chance of any box office success, anywhere in the world. This movie upset me enormously, worried me, scared me and made me extremely sad. And I loved every minute of it, so I know that I am in a peculiar minority.

    George MacKay playing Aaron was truly extraordinary. Even though his filmography shows that he was pretty much a child star, it isn't easy to play a rather unpleasant role during the period when you have spots all over your face and no muscular definition to speak of. On top of that, shooting the film must have been a nightmare considering the number of scenes shot in the cold sea.

    I worried about what would happen next the same as in a Hitchcock movie or any number of modern thrillers. Was somebody going to be killed unexpectedly. What on earth was the main character trying to do? The ending of the film was both unexpected and marvelous and whether or not it was a hallucination or a psychotic episode does not matter to me.

  3. This film seemed to have such promise as it developed, but ultimately that promise was squandered by a fizzler of an ending and many missed opportunities for more interesting storytelling along the way.  As the sole survivor of a boat tragedy, Aaron seemed initially to be unfairly shunned by the other residents of his small Scottish fishing village – but later developments give an inkling into the reason that he attracts such hostility.  Unfortunately, the film takes too long to get there and does nothing with the new narrative turn.  While the decision to leave the boating tragedy completely unexplained may have seemed a good one to the filmmakers, for the audience it just further serves to underline the hollowness at the heart of the narrative.  By taking too long to say too little, the film fails to sustain atmosphere, story or emotion.  Its haphazard use of locations means that it is also unable to sustain a sense of place, with each scene feeling like a separate, dull bead spaced widely along a thin thread of narrative.

  4. Scottish screenwriter and director Paul Wright's feature film debut which he wrote, premiered in the International Critics' Week section at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival in 2013, was screened in the Michael Powell Award Competition section at the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2013, was shot on locations in Scotland and is a UK production which was produced by producers Mary Burke and Polly Stokes. It tells the story about a son and brother named Aaron who lives with his mother named Cathy in Gourdon, Aberdeenshire in Scotland. After returning from a fishing boat accident where his brother named Michael and four other men were taken by the sea, the citizens of the community wonders why he doesn't have any memory of what happened and places the blame for the accident on him. Although Aaron becomes alienated, he is convinced that his brother his still alive.

    Distinctly and acutely directed by Scottish filmmaker Paul Wright, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated by the main character and mostly from his viewpoint, draws a heartrendingly reflective portrayal of a sole survivor whom whilst missing his brother hangs on to a childhood story his mother used to tell him and his brother when they got scared, and turns to his brother's girlfriend named Jane whom he thinks is the only one that will believe him. While notable for its naturalistic, distinct and atmospheric milieu depictions, versatile cinematography by cinematographer Benjamin Kracun, production design by production designer Simon Rogers and use of sound, colors and light, this character-driven, monologue-driven and narrative-driven story where a fairy-tale becomes a reality to a person who believes that everything will be fine again if he can bring his brother back, depicts a densely internal study of character and contains a great and timely score by composer Erik Enocksson.

    This eloquently mysterious, distinguishable and somewhat sociological indie which is set in a coastal village in Scotland in the 21st century and where the one who were not taken by the sea takes on a responsibility for something he isn't responsible for so that things can return to the way they were and a mother stands by her ostracized son, is impelled and reinforced by its fragmented narrative structure, substantial character development, rhythmic continuity, powerful use of music, remarkable use of flashback scenes, humane examination of its central themes, the singular acting performance by English actor George Mackay and the reverent acting performances by Scottish actress Kate Dickie, English actress Nichola Burley and Scottish actor Jordan Young. A resonating and profoundly elegiac audio-visual poem for those in peril at sea which gained the Douglas Hickox Award Paul Wright at the 16th Möet British Independent Film Awards in 2013.

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