Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"Catcalls is billed as horror but will be, for many viewers, more of an antidote to a horror that's part of day to day life." | Photo: Fantasia Film Festival

It will be a familiar situation to many female viewers. You're walking down a road at night talking to your friend when a man pulls over. Can you give him directions? You're wary, of course, watching the car door, making sure you can't be grabbed, but you don't want to be mean - he might be a perfectly nice guy and genuinely lost. So you go over, you start explaining where to turn off, and then you see that he's got his penis in his hand, and he grins at you as if he's been so clever that he's going to award himself a gold star when he gets home.

It's easy for him to get away with, of course. He can drive off quickly into the darkness and unless you've got your wits about you there won't be time to read the numberplate - you may well feel too embarrassed or annoyed to report it if you do. But in this case, flasher Paul (Martin O'Sullivan) - who slips his wedding ring back on in the driveway as if that was his idea of infidelity - has messed with the wrong women.

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There's some hinting here at old legends of the cat sidhe, who could transform her body and steal a man's immortal soul, but for the most part Catcalls is a fairy standard supernatural revenge thriller. It does what all the old tales do and acts as a warning: stay on the path, don't interfere with strangers - you never know who they might be. Paul sees something strange on the road before he enters his home and, as he speaks to his wife, can barely keep the terror from his voice. He's an easy target. There's going to be no struggle here, to speak of.

Part of the Born Of Woman selection at Fantasia 2018, Catcalls is billed as horror but will be, for many viewers, more of an antidote to a horror that's part of day to day life. A young man flirts with a woman in the street. Fair enough. But then he bars her way. Why should he get to feel safe, doing that?

There's nothing amazing going on here, but many viewers will find it satisfying nonetheless.

Reviewed on: 01 Aug 2018
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Catcalls packshot
A man picks the wrong stranger to expose himself to.

Read more Catcalls reviews:

Andrew Robertson ****

Director: Kate Dolan

Writer: Kate Dolan

Starring: Martin O'Sullivan, Cesca Saunders, Edel Murphy, Sarah Kinlen, Desmond Eastwood

Year: 2017

Runtime: 9 minutes

Country: Ireland


Fantasia 2018

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