Deranged (2012)

Welsh director Neil Jones follows up ‘The Reverend’ with this horror movie filmed in Spain. The story concerns four young ladies who are on their way to a bachelorette party at a remote country house owned by Anthony (Craig Fairbrass). We have Mary (Natalia Celino), who on the journey there is being teased about her ‘virgin Mary’ nickname by Silvia (Victoria Broom) who’s gloating about her recently acquired induction into the mile-high club. Finishing off the foursome is local girl Gabriella (Marcia Do Vales) and quiet one of the group, Anna (Tabitha Quitman).

After a two hour drive from the airport, the four girls reach the huge iron gates of their destination. The ‘mansion’ has an imposing look about it as well as being a little less luxurious than they expected. Before they go inside for their first look around, they pause to convey the good old cliché “there’s no mobile phone signal here”, and enter to assess where they’ll be staying for the weekend.

Later that day dinner is served and they toast to “an unforgettable night”, at which point Gabriella decides to go out to feed Anthony’s dog that lives in the grounds of the property. A short while later she staggers back inside in pain and very distressed as it appears the dog has bitten her. Gabriella seems to think the dog turned on her because it felt threatened by the presence of someone else in the grounds

Soon after, a policeman arrives – who turns out to be a stripper that had been pre-booked. The tension lifts, but its short-lived as midway through his performance Gabriella begins howling in pain and convulsing. Fortunately though, this is a knowledgeable stripper who’s a dab hand at CPR and he attempts to resuscitate her. Panic fills the house and with Gabriella seemingly lying dead on the floor, grudges come to the fore and old wounds are reopened between the friends. What really caused Gabriella’s predicament though? Was there really someone else outside that caused the dog to react in that manner?

I like indie British horror a great deal, so much so I’ve got a section devoted to it in my video store. With ‘Deranged’ though, I have to admit I struggled to like it. None of the girls are particularly likeable which made the characters a little distant. The performance from Marcia Do Vales as Gabriella admittedly yielded the odd snigger, as during moments of heightened tension she tended to sound like a Latino cookie monster. I found myself rolling my eyes a few times at some of the dialogue – “but he was my first ever fuck!”, and even the big reveal seemed to elicit an audible groan. With films under his belt like ‘Risen’ and ‘The Reverend’, the director shows some solid promise, but with ‘Deranged’ it’s an unfortunate misfire.

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