Outcast (2010)

Things get ugly down on the housing estate
Things get ugly down on the housing estate

Directed by Colm McCarthy, written by Colm McCarthy and Tom K. McCarthy, starring Kate Dickie, Niall Bruton, Hanna Stanbridge, Josh Whitelaw, Therese Bradley and James Nesbitt.

Ignore this rather generic monster's-hand-in-the-foreground DVD cover design, the movie is really good
Ignore this rather generic monster’s-hand-in-the-foreground DVD cover design, the movie itself is really good
Grim vistas
Grim vistas

Mary (Dickie) is a woman who comes from an ancient, almost mythical Celtic race. She hides out with her son Fergal (Bruton) in a dingy area on the outskirts of Edinburgh, using magic to protect them from a killer called Cathal (Nesbitt), who is also using magic to hunt them down on behalf of the clan Mary ran away from. Whilst this is happening, local people start getting murdered – but is Cathal to blame for these deaths… or is it someone or something else?

Mary, played by Kate Dickie, is a very protective mother, though she definitely has her reasons for behaving this way
Mary, played by Kate Dickie, is a very protective mother, though she definitely has her reasons for behaving this way
Some sharp-nailed beast begins to kill the locals
A sharp-nailed beast begins to kill the locals

OUTCAST is a British movie that features an interesting mix of social realism (it’s set in a dour Scottish housing estate) and horror/fantasy (the characters from the undefined clan can deploy gritty magic, some of which involves using disemboweled pigeons for divination, runic tattoos, etc).

Some of the estate's residents ain't very friendly
Some of the estate’s residents ain’t very friendly
Various tattoos form part of the magic utilised in the movie
Various tattoos form part of the magic utilised in the movie

The story shows us how Mary, the grim, overprotective mother, is using her magical abilities to hide her teenage son Fergal from the people trying to track him down, whilst also revealing how Fergal starts to become tempted to step away from his isolated way of life, so that he can begin a relationship with a local girl called Petronella (Stanbridge).

Fergal becomes fed up with living a life of isolation...
Fergal becomes fed up with living a life of isolation…
..and he becomes very close with Petronella
…and he becomes very close with Petronella

Meanwhile, of course, lurking amongst the dirty, rain-soaked estate, is a murderous monster… which is finally revealed to be a novel-looking humanoid thing with pallid & veined skin, a thick upper torso, a thin waist and troll-like face. But who is it that is transforming into this creature? You’ll have to watch the film to find out!

Strange, clammy-skinned humanoid!
Strange, clammy-skinned humanoid!
This strange being has an almost troll-like visage
This weird being has an almost troll-like visage

I do think that maybe the filmmakers could have explained this down-and-dirty mythology they created a little more clearly, though it could be argued that this kind of tale benefits from the fact everything is left somewhat mysterious and open to interpretation.

'Beware the beast within'
‘Beware the beast within’

The film is well worth tracking down (but don’t use a disemboweled pigeon to help you find it, okay?)

Cathal is assaulted by the man-monster, which has pale, moist, veined skin
Cathal is assaulted by the man-monster, which has pale, moist, veined skin
The special effects for the critter are without doubt on the low budget side, but the monster makes up for it with its rather unique look
The special effects for the critter are without doubt on the low budget side, but the monster makes up for it with its rather unique look

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