Set in West Yorkshire in 1974, this spooky tale of poltergeist activity makes nowt of its social and political setting: power cuts and the three-day week during the miners’ strike. It’s based on true events from 1968 that involved a teenage boy rather than a 12-year-old girl – but a shift forward allows for nostalgic ’70s set-dressing, while the gender switch prompts unflattering comparisons with ‘The Exorcist’.
Newcomer Tasha Connor makes an impression as lonely Sally, who becomes the focus of a ‘presence’ that flings her about the home she’s just moved into with her parents (Steven Waddington and Kate Ashfield). There are hints of a link to the legend of a disgraced monk, so local priest Father Clifton (Gary Lewis) is called in to exorcise the evil spirit. Writer-director Pat Holden (‘Awaydays’) distorts and embellishes the source material in uninteresting and un-frightening ways. A film that not even the formidable Gary Lewis can save is a scary thing indeed.