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‘THE MOOR’ Movie Review: a deeply disturbing exploration of a terrifyingly plausible premise

Synopsis: As a child, Claire witnessed the abduction and murder of her best friend. Now, 25 years later, in a quest to uncover the truth behind the tragedy, the dead boy’s father, Bill, with the help of psychic Eleanor venture into a haunted moor, where a dark and sinister force seems to stir at their arrival.

Director Chris Cronin‘s debut feature, The Moor explores a chillingly realistic premise that draws comparisons to the crimes of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, aka The Moors murderers. The film opens with Danny and Claire, two young accomplices, hatching a plan to pilfer sweets from a local shop. As Danny diverts the shopkeeper’s attention, Claire seizes the loot and they make a hasty getaway. But their innocent mischief takes a sinister turn when Danny falls prey to a child abductor terrorizing the area – a chilling reality vividly conveyed through the movie’s opening credits.

Twenty-five years after his son Danny’s disappearance, Bill (Davis Edward-Robertson) reaches out to Claire (Sophia La Porte), a podcaster, for help in locating his son’s remains. Despite her previous unsuccessful attempts to generate public interest, Bill hopes to leverage Claire’s experience to raise awareness and renew the search. Haunted by guilt even after all this time, Claire agrees to assist Bill in whatever way she can.

Edward-Robertson delivers a powerful performance as a father seeking closure, his tired appearance reflecting the deep pain of his loss and growing desperation. He is accompanied by park ranger Liz (Vicki Hackett) as they explore the moor with the help of a father-daughter duo of dowsers (Mark Peachey & Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips). The daughter, Eleanor, possesses strong psychic abilities and relies on her spirit guide for assistance. This leads to the most chilling moment in the film when even the spirit guide is overcome with fear of an unseen evil.

Aided by Paul Thomas’ gripping script, Cronin sustains a slow-building tension throughout the 2-hour runtime, allowing the characters, particularly the increasingly desperate and obsessed Bill, to develop in a way that imperils everyone.

Coupled with this, the movies pacing also allows cinematographer Sam Cronin the opportunity to create an immersive environment, filled with dangerous ancient peat bogs, disorienting fog, and stone markers. The vast openness of the moor adds to the eerie atmosphere, making the supernatural elements even more terrifying by affording no escape or hiding place.

And the film’s climax, when it arrives, elicits a final – and terrifying – gasp from the audience that is guaranteed to linger long after the credits have rolled, cementing Cronin as a filmmaking force to be reckoned with.


The Moor releases in select cinemas 14 June & on Digital HD 1 July, 2024.


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