The Holding | Chicago Reader

The Holding

A single mother (Kierston Wareing of Fish Tank) and her two daughters move to a small village in northern England to forget about an unspecified trauma, only to be seduced and terrorized by a handsome stranger (Vincent Regan) with a psychotic need to play daddy. Though gory and almost monotonously bleak, Susan Jacobson's first feature is no crude exploitation item: the movie's stance toward domestic violence is one of unequivocal revulsion, and its depiction of abuse exaggerates only slightly an all-too-common nightmare. The mostly unknown cast successfully maintains an atmosphere of unsettling intimacy; even when the drama devolves into chase scenes and torture, no character seems like a mere victim or monster.

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