Gateway Films News > September 2015

Total Film 'The Messenger'

Monday 7th September 2015

Aside from Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore throwing phallic pots in Ghost, it's fair to say most movies dealing with the paranormal fall into the box marked 'scary'.

Not so The Messenger, a film that veteran director David Blair undertook to see, as he puts it, "whether or not we could tell a story without the embellishment of it being a horror". Misfits star Robert Sheehan plays Jack, a morbid fellow who frequents graveyards and funerals, claiming to be able to pass on messages from the dead to their loved ones. "To him, he's absolutely experiencing these things," says Sheehan, "but to all the world, he seems like a deluded freak who fixates on loss. Ninety nine per cent of the time, he's met with hostility." Amid a strong British cast including the likes of Lily Cole, Jack Fox plays Mark, one of the 'dead people'Jack encounters. " I liked the relationship between the two of them," says Fox. "You know when you have a relationship with friends, and there's always that moment when you get frustrated with them? Well, [try] having that with a ghost or essentially someone who is not around!"

While Fox admits it's "quite a funny idea conversing with the dead". The Messenger walks along an increasingly dark path, as audiences are left wondering whether Sheehan's Jack is prone to bouts of madness. "Robert can carry that edge where you're not quite sure when, where or how it could happen," says Blair, who previously worked with him in the Jimmy McGovern-scripted TV drama Accused. With Jack delving further and further into his past, via some harrowing sessions with Joely Richardson's therapist, the result is an increasingly troubled experience. So is it a stripped-back Sixth Sense'? "There are elements of that," nods Fox. "But I'd like to think it's an individual piece." Sheehan concurs, unwilling to box it alongside M. Night Shyamalan's spirit drama. "It feels like something new," he says. "A new departure." JM

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