Down Dublin's mean streets stalks a psychopath who, before pouncing for the kill, mesmerises his victims-to-be with lengthy telephone monologues that blend blarney, threats and pure poetry. Armed only with a strange mixture of canny courage and coy innocence, Patricia - a young Southern Irish farmgirl leaving home to try her luck teaching in the city - is simultaneously attracted to and terrified by three admiring males, each of whom might turn out to be her saviour or her slayer. Hardy's thriller is often as offbeat as his earlier The Wicker Man, embellishing its suspense with oddball characters, intimations of magic and the polarities of innocence and experience, country and city, dream and reality. Attempting to investigate different aspects of sexual/romantic fantasy (all four central characters might lay claim to the film's title), Hardy nevertheless remains constricted by both the narrative formulas and the moral conventions of the woman-in-peril film: too often, Patricia, as played by Moira Harris, seems not just foolhardy but actually compliant in her dangerous predicament. That said, however, Hardy deserves praise for his very evident ambitions.
Cast and crew
Bairbre Ni Chaoimh