Ambitious but, perhaps, misguided, Hartley's latter-day fairytale-cum-monster fable has innocent but brave young Polley (a lowly secretary on a TV news show run by ratings-crazed Mirren) head off to the Icelandic wilderness when it's reported that a camera crew (her boyfriend included) had been killed by a monster. When she eventually meets the misanthropic, resentfully immortal beast (Burke), she gets on so well with him that she persuades him to accompany her to New York, to meet a boffin who could finish him off. Polley and Burke work well alone and together, but the scenes satirising media sensationalism are too heavy-handed to be funny. Good, intriguing ideas about the death of fear, mystery and difference, are executed with an uncharacteristic forthrightness which forgoes the engagingly offbeat subtleties of his earlier work; clearly, allegory and genre are not Hartley's strong points.
Cast and crew
Robert John Burke