Set against the turbulent backdrop of mid-20th century Ireland, Uroboros seduces you with its gorgeous scenery from the opening frame, then inserts hell into the fringes of every image until there’s absolutely no mistaking it.
Young Moira (Emma Dargan-Reid) is on the cusp of leaving the nation with her loving partner Eamonn (Liam Bixby) when she’s suddenly met with staunch resistance from her conservative family. Convinced of her madness, her father (Brian Fortune) has her sent to a mental hospital, leaving the poor girl wandering aimlessly through the halls of the establishment searching her own thoughts. Somebody, something wants what Moira has. It seeps through her troubled mind and into reality, threatening to swallow her up whole. Who or what could wish such ill will upon her?
Uroboros makes a strong case for itself in terms of its command of atmospheric oppression. Narayan Vane Maele’s dark visuals, coupled with DIE HEXEN’s equally gloomy soundtrack, accomplish a lot of heavy lifting in just under 11 minutes, while Dargan-Reid proves a capable lead. She’s a force on screen, making you feel every hint of desperation Moira is going through as she struggles to break the nightmare. Uroboros is intricately written and accomplishes much more with horror of the unseen variety.
There’s no easy way to approach or understand the masterfully lurid thriller that is Uroboros. It strips any semblance of safety away from its main character, leaving them gasping for a lifeline as terror takes hold. Call it bleak or cruel even, but there’s something deeply provocative about how director Diarmuid Donohoe deconstructs trauma and terror. Appointment viewing for fans of psycholigical horror!