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FILM REVIEW: Idiot Boy (2024)

Idiot Boy - Festival Circuit Review

Director: Luke De Brún

Starring: Dan Culbert, Dean Houlihan, Jack "Smokey" Holton-Murray, Eamonn Elliot, Thomas Quill

Written by: Luke De Brún

Produced by: Luke De Brún, Dan Culbert

Cinematography by: Luke De Brún

Original Score by: ApXY, Idiot Boy Productions, Middle School


Told through a series of vignettes, the residents of Ballymoss find odd and often destructive ways of passing time amid the disappearance of a young girl.

Idiot Boy Film Poster


Luke De Brún's debut feature film is a haunting and profoundly eerie micro budget, quasi horror film that will linger in your mind long after the credits roll.

Shot over a four year period using VHS and Hi8 tapes 'Idiot Boy' follows a number of young men from the forgotten decrepit small town of Ballymoss as they aimlessly survive day to day whilst slowly coming to the realisation that nobody really cares about the fact that a young girl called Hope has recently gone missing.

Idiot Boy Film Review

There's Dean, a self proclaimed "grindhouse" filmmaker hell bent on getting the community involved with the release of his latest film, The Curse of the Mossland Woods. He loves his sleaze and he loves his trashiness and he seems to talk with the hint of an American accent. And then there's Smokey, a tracksuit wearing layabout disillusioned with the hand that life has thrown him, who loves to hang out in the local play parks drinking beers and rolling ciggies. Making a brief appearance is Michael, a conspiracy theorist whose only reason for being included seems to be to share the truth about the endless cycle and the power hungry, robotic system that is called the government. But our main man is Dan, a strange and unusual loner who takes it upon himself to help distribute 'Missing' posters and interview the locals about the disappearance of Hope.

'Idiot Boy' won't be for everyone but for those that have an affinity with retro filmmaking and improvised, disjointed narratives, then this might be right up your street. If you enjoyed films like last years divisive 'Skinamarink' and 'We're All Going to the World's Fair', Jane Shoenrbrun's "beautiful but intensely sad coming of age film" from 2021, then this will be essential viewing for you. There's an obvious David Lynch influence here both in the editing style and the storytelling and it's clearly been shaped by the director's love for 'The Blair Witch Project' too.

Idiot Boy Film Review

The constant dread of the film is linked to the Mossland Woods, a place that is mentioned a number of times but never properly shown. It's not quite horror in the traditional sense, although the sudden smash-cuts work well as jump scares, but it's in the film's creative fusion of dark comedy and melancholia that creates an unnerving and ominous atmosphere throughout.

Full of creepy, uncanny imagery and an inventive, disturbing disquietude, 'Idiot Boy' also has some surprisingly touching moments helped by a simplistic yet beautiful musical score. The finale is pure Lychian that just made me want to instantly go for a shower afterwards.

Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

-Gavin Logan

'Idiot Boy' is currently being considered for various film festivals around the world and will be released in 2024.

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