Film review: Hinterland (7 out of 10)

Lori Campbell and Harry McQueen in Hinterland.
Lori Campbell and Harry McQueen in Hinterland.

In a year which has already seen some multi-million blockbusters and wall to wall CGI, with much more on the way, it’s a real pleasure to watch a low-budget movie that relies on pure acting ability and the craft and imagination of its cast and crew.

Hinterland sees actor Harry McQueen produce, direct, write and star in a modern road movie.

Except this isn’t a trip across a familiar beaten track - it’s a trip to Cornwall and back.

The story sees Harvey (McQueen) organise a trip to the west coast after a childhood friend Lola (singer-songwriter Lori Campbell) returns after years abroad.

Over the course of three days we watch as the pair embark on an emotional journey - but this is no old-fashioned love story and deeply satisfying as a result.

Cinematographer Ben Hecking deserves much credit for some excellent work in what looks like pretty tough conditions - February in Cornwall with wind, dull lighting and presumably only a few hours a day to film.

McQueen and Campbell have a good spark between them so you can believe they’ve known each other for many years.

But along with the polite conversation and playful antics there are looks of anguish as Harvey assesses his relationship with the free spirited Lola.

It’s the kind of movie that requires your full attention in order to appreciate the gentle shifts in emotion.

And we are led on a journey to the finale which will surprise many but also set you thinking about relationships.

It’s the start of a directorial voyage for Harry McQueen but, based on this debut, it’s a trip I’ll enjoy watching him make.

Nominated for Best UK Feature at Raindance Film Festival 2014, HINTERLAND is in cinemas and on demand from February 27