500 Days Of Film Reviews Calibre Staring Jack Lowden and Martin McCann
Father-to-be, Vaughn Carter (Jack Lowden), and his lifelong friend Marcus (Martin McCann) head to an isolated Highlands village for a weekend hunting trip. After their first night of heavy drinking with the villagers, the men head out into the vast forest - a journey that will change both men’s lives forever.
Is It Any Good?
Calibre is an impressive feature debut from writer/director Matt Palmer. Featuring two compelling central performances from Lowden and McCann, this gripping and suspenseful film leads us into a dark, spiraling nightmare.
As is ever the case, the less you know about Calibre (now available on Netflix) the better. The film begins in familiar genre territory. In fact, it is almost too familiar - complete with a (daring) nod to An American Werewolf in London.
However, Calibre is not content to mimic the horror/thrillers of the past. Palmer has a surprise up his sleeve, a tragic incident that feels fresh and is genuinely shocking (don’t Google it, the event works best if you don’t know what to expect).
From there, the director twists the knife - placing Vaughn and Marcus in increasingly dangerous situations. Worse still, they are hopelessly trapped in a village teaming with locals more than willing to take the law into their own hands.
Calibre is far from an easy film to watch - we fear for the safety of both Vaughn and Marcus. Indeed, largely due to their horrendous decision making, I spent most of the film on the very edge of my seat, filled with dread.
The tension is heightened by Calibre’s powerful supporting cast. Tony Curran stands out. His portrayal of Logan McClay is perfectly pitched - even in the film’s horrific final moments. Meanwhile, Ian Pirie (playing Brian McClay) is the very definition of menace.
As Calibre moved into its final act, I began to wonder how Palmer would resolve his dark and disturbing story. Would the culmination of this twisted tale satisfy? Thankfully, the director holds his nerve and delivers a suitably nasty and haunting conclusion.
Calibre won The Michael Powell Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Jack Lowden and Martin McCann also worked together in '71.
Have you seen Calibre?
If you have, what did you think of this film? Let me know in the comments section below or over on Twitter. You can find me @500DaysOfFilm.