Something vile and malevolent is holding sway in the suburbs of a northern industrial city. And it’s not Leeds Utd.
Writer-director Owen Carey Jones’ cautionary tale of the dangers of dabbling with occult is apparently based on a true story. So he seems to have shot a home movie about it.
Jenny (Pitkin) is a troubled youngster who has pinballed between her divorced parents (one potential stepdad had her sleeping in the cellar) to finally end up in a Leeds high-rise shacked up with her boyfriend Rick (Hererra).
However, she soon finds herself attracted to suave work colleague Ed (Smith), a relaxed bon viveur who happens to have a little room set up for black magic ritual in his loft. We are in Leeds, remember.
Anyway, the jilted Rick is persuaded by the new rival for his affections – fully paid-up witch Kate (O’Donoughue) – to cast a spell which will, erm, make her fall in love with him all over again.
This is not what green-eyed harpies are supposed to do - particularly ones who drop their clobber illuminated by IKEA garden torches while chanting in the woods.
Anyway, the upshot is that Jenny’s bedroom goes all dark, her pictures shake and a shelf-full of toiletries levitates. The Exorcist it ain’t…but we are working to a Yorkshire budget.
In the morning, she can’t shake off the feeling of demonic possession….but no-one can help her, least of all a couple of dishrag-wet priests who tut at her pleas for an exorcism.
A lot of effort has obviously gone into this but Carey Jones – on his third attempt at a feature – should surely be better able to construct a movie that cornily pans out like some sort of Christian public information film.
With the exception of Pitkin, who’s clearly been given nothing to work with, the acting is like a Crossroads masterclass poorly served with a script that insists everybody treats demonic possession like it was a dose of the sniffles.