This movie was a very disconcerting watch for me. And, since it’s a psychological thriller I guess that’s the sort of reaction and description its directors Carl Medlund and Amarjeet Singh would be hoping for, but, for me, it was also disconcerting on a personal level because the film’s setting was the place in which my partner and I stayed to mark the first anniversary of our civil partnership. We identified the location immediately – it was once a posh B&B, you see, but was sold a few years ago.
The setting is beautiful Snowdonia – in early spring (spookily also the time of year of our anniversary) and two attractive women arrive at a large period property surrounded by stunning scenery to embark on a weekend photo shoot. One of them, Maia (Ione Butler), is a former model wanting re-invention while the other is the photographer (Laura Martin-Simpson) who owns the gorgeous house (formerly the home of poet and author Percy Bysshe Shelley, before an attempt on his life drove him away).
It’s apparent almost immediately that there’s a spark between the two gals. Model Maia appears to be married, but unhappily, while photographer Francesca appears to be a loner suffering from OCD. As the pair become acquainted, we are gradually given a window into some sort of back story with scenes of a troubled man in consultation with a psychiatrist.
Tense, edgy, creepy and packed with troubling temperaments, unsettlingly intense passions and emerging dark secrets, this gripping psychological thriller also boasts strong performances from the two leads as well as an eye-catching and atmospheric backdrop of breathtaking natural landscape photography combined with sumptuous shots of the property’s luxurious interior.
For me and my partner, it was especially disconcerting to see this unsettling, sexually-charged story played out within the setting of our romantic anniversary retreat because Maia’s bedroom was actually the ensuite room in which we stayed and where much of the action takes place. However, that aside, I’m quite sure that even without my own highly personal distraction adding an additional unnerving layer, this film will still make edgy, uneasy and captivating viewing.
The Adored is released on DVD by Peccadillo Pictures on 24th February.