Thursday, 20 July 2017

Young Pauline explores a Kent countryside village and meets an oddly welcoming stationmaster with a gnome-like hunch, beard and hat, as well as his brutish, half-witted friend. It’s not too much of a spoiler to say that Pauline gets herself murdered very early on in the film, and the focus then shifts onto this strange duo as they try to cover up what’s occurred.

The Orchard End Murder is a strange, strange movie, willing to take completely unexpected turns at any moment. You think you have a handle on its idyllically dull portrayal of village life, complete with lengthy small talk, and then suddenly someone slams a live rabbit into a fruitcake before ripping its innards out. And that’s just the first ten minutes.

Indeed, there are many odd decisions in this film’s story, and not all in a good way. Some scenes make little sense, such as the men’s decision to bury the body a few metres away from where the police are currently standing, and the way that the story ends couldn’t feel more forced. 

Nevertheless, it has an odd charm about it and never feels boring, perhaps due to a combination of just how unpredictable the whole thing is and Peter Jessop’s artful camerawork, which carefully juxtaposes the beautiful country landscapes with the much more sinister.


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