"Scrawl" is a supernatural horror from writer/director Peter Hearn. The film stars Liam Hughes, Joe Daly, Daisy Ridley, Mark Forester Evans, Le Gresley, Nathalie Pownall, Catherine Ruddick, Ellie Selwood and Derek Jones. "Scrawl" is mixes elements of supernatural thriller with folk-fantasy horror.
Simon Goodman (Liam Hughes) is a 16-year boy living in a rundown seaside town. With his best friend Joe Harper (Joe Daly), they create a comic book called SCRAWL as a way to escape their reality, gain some notoriety and more importantly pick up girls.
Annie Williams (Annabelle Le Gresley), a girl who hides behind her camera and cannot forget the past gets wrapped up in the boys new world, along with Joe's sister Rosie (Ellie Selwood) and suddenly, with the appearance of a mysterious girl, Hannah (Daisy Ridley), events in the comic book start to invade their reality and situations in the comic book come to life.
At first its great, girls start to become interested in the boys, and all seems fun, but then the monsters of the comic book begin to show themselves, and the boys realize that the comic depicts a bloody great massacre at page 21.
With the help of Joes father, Frank (Mark Forester-Evans), family and friends, the boys are forced to face their horrific imagination made real.Are Simon and Joe able to change their new found reality? Only if they can rewrite death.
The story is a very complex mashup of supernatural adventurism, contemporary horror, and modern folktale. Keep the official synopsis handy for reference because the complexity is elusive on screen. For most of the first half it is hard to decipher what the film is about, too many cut-aways and overlapping plot points really muddy things.
There is some bare bones of creativity and intrigue in Hearns concept. Outcast kids trying to find their place in a social clique, a supernatural book that can bring imagination to life and a coming-of-age battle against evil. All things done to death, but "Scrawl" mashes these tropes in a truly millennial fashion. A troubled kid obsessed with comics unwittingly unleashes evil in his community.
Beyond that very basic understanding of the plot, not much is comprehensive with this film. The structure is broken and jumbled. There is no real cohesion to the story arc. And things happen in a slow, aimless pace that is slightly boring. There are plenty of moments with decent horror and bloodsplatter. Unfortunately it happens with the same non-existent affection as the bland dialog and snarkiness. Check the movie out if you want to see how Ridley got her start in a bad-and soon to be cult-student film. (2/5)