Don’t Go – Ireland, 2018

‘Somewhere between dreams and reality lies the truth’

Don’t Go is a 2018 Irish psychological horror thriller feature film directed by David Gleeson (The Grimm Legacy) from a screenplay co-written with Ronan Blaney. The Wide Eye Films-Amasia Entertainment production stars Stephen Dorff, Melissa George and Simon Delaney.

Plot:

Reeling from the shock of their young daughter’s death, Ben (Stephen Dorff) and Hazel (Melissa George) attempt to restart their lives in a picturesque seaside village.

However, when the girl begins appearing to Ben in a haunting recurring dream, he becomes convinced that she is attempting to make contact from beyond the grave—and that his nightmare may hold the key to bringing her back to life. As Hazel begins to fear for her husband’s sanity, they are each drawn into a mystery far beyond their understanding…

Reviews:

I still feel like I need to see it again. I know that sounds odd, but the quieter movies always linger with me. In an era where Iron Man and Harry Potter Pokemon Zookeeper fight for your attention, it’s easy to forget how to approach these movies. Make the time, people. Make the damn time.” Troy Anderson, Anderson Vision

“It’s an uneasy mix of the very real and sci-fi […] It’s the decline after key reveals that torpedo most of what “Don’t Go” is hoping to achieve, offering an unsatisfying conclusion to a grand build-up of sin and misery, making its most outlandish ideas the most effectively sold. ” Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

“The story moves at an elephantine pace and it feels like it shouldn’t be. There are too many scenes that reconfirm points that have already been made; the script could have used a little more brevity or the film more judicious editing at the very least. At times it becomes too much the soap opera which undercuts the basic melancholy which suffuses the movie throughout.” Carlos de Villalvilla, Cinema 365

“If there’s one disappointment it’s that the film’s conclusion implies heroism in a choice that might otherwise be seen as a means of ducking responsibility, or certainly of avoiding confrontation, but it is nicely delivered and most viewers are like to find it emotionally satisfying. The narrative is well crafted and the result is a poignant little film that will linger in the memory.” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“Effective atmospherics don’t fully compensate for the sluggish storytelling.” Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“ … it’s all deathly dull. Sure, the location is beautiful, but Gleeson doesn’t really take advantage of it. You can’t blame him for a lack of earnestness either, but being solemn only takes you so far. Not a moment in this film resonates on any level. It’s not frightening enough to qualify as a thriller, nor poignant or artful enough to be an effectively trippy drama.” Alex Saveliev, Irish Film Critic

Don’t Go works better than its brethren, because of its strong character development and the sign-posts it drops early on, for future reference later on. Recommended for genre fans who enjoy head-tripping films…” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

“Engaging and briskly paced at a tight 92 minutes, Don’t Go finds a way to operate effectively in a well-worn cinematic groove made not at all redundant, here. Bolstered by a damn fine turn by Dorff, who carries most of the film, there’s more to like than dislike with this one.” Warren Cantrell, The Playlist

Don’t Go isn’t sure whether it wants to be a frightening fantasy or a poignantly warm-and-fuzzy one. It definitely blows the former option, while the latter fails because as written and played, lead characters whose love can supposedly transcend death itself have no convincing romantic or familial chemistry.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

Release:

Don’t Go premiered at Galway Film Fleadh on 14 July 2018. IFC Films released it in the US on October 26, 2018. An Irish release is scheduled for 12 April 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Stephen Dorff … Ben Slater – Welcome to Mercy; Leatherface; Jackals; Blade; The Gate
  • Melissa George … Hazel – Triangle; WΔZ aka The Killing Gene; 30 Days of Night; Turistas; Mulholland Drive; Dark City
  • Simon Delaney … Father Sean
  • Aoibhinn McGinnity … Serena
  • Grace Farrell … Molly
  • Gavin O’Connor … Mr. Norton
  • Lalor Roddy … Removal Man
  • Des Cave … Uncle Frank
  • Luke Griffin … Kieran
  • Charlotte Bradley … Siobhan
  • Sean Mahon … Dave Pearce
  • Laurence O’Fuarain … Kevin Gunne
  • Sahar Ali … Bernice
  • Ella Connolly … Jenny

Working title:

Don’t Let Go

Related:

Don’t Look Now – Italy/UK, 1973

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