ANNA AND THE DEAD (REVIEW)
previously titled ANY MINUTE NOW
Dir. Peter Goddard
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
As her parents split, Anna (Mhairi Calvey) is sent to a small town near the coast with her Aunt and Uncle. Jennifer (Philippa Tozer) and David (Lee Macdonald) are far from welcoming and have a sinister motive behind their sudden adoption. Anna quickly makes friends at her local school but marred between her narcolepsy and bickering her new start doesn’t begin well.
Friends start falling ill and hallucinations lead Anna to question her sanity. Until she meets Josh (Ryan Spong) who at last becomes an ear to her thoughts. Working together they find a dark history to the town that will far surpass anything they thought before.
Within ANNA AND THE DEAD there are dark moments that are both menacing and unforgettable. Goddard has taken on criticism from his directorial entry SEASON OF THE WITCH. A lengthy drama that had little in the way of tension but made up for in its gripping story.
While we wouldn’t mind if ANNA AND THE DEAD gave up some of the quieter moment and cut its length down by about 20 minutes but we can’t really complain when there always seems something going on. Whether there are hallucinations, mystery or furious chemistry between Calvey and Spong, one thing is for sure; ANNA AND THE DEAD is a must watch for anyone who enjoys great story telling.
In a genre of zombie apocalypse and haunted house thrillers, it’s refreshing to see a ghost story with heart. Both director and cast work together and give 100% to their parts. Some try harder than others but ultimately is a much polished effort.
Mhairi Calvey shines and is destined for big things with the performance given here. Her portrayal of Anna is both enchanting and memorable as she falls deeper into a spiral of self-doubt and eventual heroism.
Inside Peter Goddard is a creative genius that is etching to put his vision to the screen and in ‘Any Minute Now’ he gets that little bit closer and certainly proves that Goddard is a director to watch out for. With a stricter editor and better sound quality, this could be a cult classic. Its dark undertones and haunting climax show why independent cinema is the force to reckon with. Much like Jason Figgis' RAILWAY CHILDREN (ed - retitled CHILDREN OF A DARKER DAWN), patience pays off and as the plot plays out, the story meanders from one direction to another until it comes to its chilling and eerie conclusion.