Release date: 2009
Ambition, oh boy it goes a long way. However it can be as much an enemy as it is a friend at times. Umbrage is a British film described as a dark fantasy and first time director Drew Cunningham certainly had a huge amount of ambition when he set out to make this film. In many respects it works, and when it does it works rather well. However it does, on occasion, become lost within itself becoming its own worst enemy.
To be honest I wasn’t sure about the dynamics within the dysfunctional family unit. However they make more sense when we eventually discover what the dark secrets are. Jacob is an antiquities dealer and he opens a package in the barn, an obsidian mirror that, he tells Rachel, is priceless and has been sent to him to sell. Given its value one wonders at him leaving it in the barn – even if they are in the middle of nowhere.
As for Phelan, we discover very little than that which I have offered already, except perhaps that he seems to be able to see right into the core of Rachel and, like Lilith, sunlight is not problematic for a fully fledged vampire, as opposed to whatever Lilith's children are, living in the shadows. He claims to be souless and is a great character, an Irish cowboy who is quick to quote things (‘What would Buffy do?’ being a great one) and superbly played by Jonnie Hurn. The shame of Phelan is that we see so little of him but he is a cracking anti-hero. As for the quotes, they started off being wonderfully referential but perhaps there were just too many in the film, ultimately. That was a common theme, I guess, as the film had loads of ideas, also, but again perhaps too many for its own good.
Criticism aside, I rather enjoyed this and certainly commend Cunningham on his first film as director. I feel we are likely to hear good things about him in the future. For this I’m giving it a floating above the centre line
The imdb page is here.