Paul Hyett is probably best known to horror fans for his special effects make up, having worked on films like "The Descent", "The Cottage" and "Attack the Block". But he's also got a few directing credits under his belt, the latest of which "Peripheral" screens at this weekend's Frightfest Halloween event.
I had been quite impressed with his previous Directorial efforts. "The Seasoning House" was a very gritty, disturbing tale and his 2015 film "Howl" was an entertaining enough Werewolf film. But upon viewing "Peripheral" I was left wondering just what the hell I was supposed to be watching.
The film revolves around controversial author Bobbi Johnson, played by Hannah Arterton (Gemma's younger sister) whose debut book sparked mass protests against the government from the disenchanted masses. However, suffering from writers block, she's struggling to get her second book off the ground.
Being a technophobe, she shuns social media and doesn't even own a computer. Preffering instead to use an old mechanical typewriter. But struggling to pay her bills now that the royalties from her last book have dried up, she is forced to accept the use of one at the insistance of her publisher, who agrees to pay her bills if she will do so, belieiving it will help speed up her writing.
But this is no ordinary computer, which proceeds to alter chararcters and rewrite whole sections to make it more palletable for what it perceives to be its target audience. And the more she uses it, the more wierd things start to happen. Her fingers and arms start turning black the more she uses it. Plus there's a surreal subplot suggesting she's pregnant, which is forgotten about as quickly as its introduced.
Also, her ex boyfriend tries to leave a stash of drugs in her flat, saying that he was forced to by guys in suits and she's having to deal with an obsessive stalker, who keeps sending her video tapes, except she doesn't own an old VCR machine so can't play them.
The final result is a bit of a confusing mess in which you're left wondering what it was all supposed to be about, or even if any of it happened at all.
Elliot James Langridge ("Northern Soul", "Habit") co-stars as the ex-boyfriend, whilst noted British thespian Tom Conti (he of "Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence" fame and more recently "Paddington 2") turns up in a supporting role as a fellow author.
To summarise, I really didn't know what to make of this movie, which seemed to lack any real point to it all. But if any of this intrigues you, it's playing at the Frightfest Halloween event this weekend and will probably be out on disc and/or digital in the near future.
View the trailer on YouTube.