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‘Scrawl’ (review)

Produced by Annabelle Le Gresley, Peter Hearn
Written and Directed by Peter Hearn
Starring Mark Forester Evans, Daisy Ridley,
Nathalie Pownall, Elizabeth Boag

Like many film lovers/writers/makers, I went to film school.  And for the most part, I loved it. And for the most part, I love writing about film.

One of the few times being a film student or film writer feels like 9 to 5, soul-sucking drudgery is when we are required to sit through a slog of a film that doesn’t work on any level.

The percentage of student films that are close to unwatchable is certainly higher than those that actually land a release (at least in my experience), but every so often a feature will get a sizable release that recalls the days of yesteryear when I wanted to find any way to escape a painful student film screening without causing a scene.

It just takes a quick scan of the credits to understand why Scrawl has indeed received a legit release – Star Wars darling, Daisy Ridley, has a prominent role.

And no big surprise, she’s the best thing in the movie.

Sadly, she’s the only good thing in the movie.  She’s the only competent thing in the movie.

Apparently, ostensibly, supposedly….Scrawl is a horror film about a comic book that comes to life.  It seemed to me that it’s about a bunch of annoying/boring/lifeless people walking interminably around a small British town and its wooded outskirts.

The opening of the film is so confusing, off-putting and amateurish, I was frankly stunned.

It doesn’t get any better from there.

Clumsily staged, awkwardly edited, poorly acted, with ridiculous character motivation (or, at times, an infuriating lack thereof) and virtually no story to speak of, Scrawl is a brutal chore of a film that feels three times longer than its 80 mins.

A half-assed, wholly indifferent score is the rancid icing on the cake.

I just want to note that I take no pleasure in slamming this film.  I’ve read or heard interviews with some major filmmakers over the years who have lamented that film is a medium in which it’s difficult to learn one’s craft or artistry and be allowed to fail and continue on.

I sympathize with this notion.  I truly do; however, I also sympathize with anyone who chooses to sit through this non-movie, and even more so with those who pay for the privilege.

I sincerely hope that those involved with the making of Scrawl have learned from the experience and have moved on to better things.

I advise any potential viewers of Scrawl to skip it and look forward to those projects instead.


Scrawl is available On Demand and on DVD exclusively through Walmart



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