RICHARD PHILLIPS-JONES looks at Axelle Carolyn’s literally haunting tale of bereavement, Soulmate.
RELEASED: 26th October 2013
STARRING: Anna Walton (Audrey), Tom Wisdom (Douglas), Tanya Myers (Theresa), Nick Brimble (Dr. Zellaby)
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Axelle Carolyn
After a failed suicide attempt, a recently widowed musician retreats to an isolated house in the country, only to find she isn’t alone. Is it her departed husband that haunts her, or someone else?
This is the debut feature feature of Axelle Carolyn, following some interesting short films (two are included on the DVD as extras), and gets a promotional boost from husband Neil Marshall’s name on the credits as producer. However, Soulmate shouldn’t need such puffing-up from the distributors, as both film and director show much to impress on their own merits.
Anna Walton and Tom Wisdom both give strong lead performances of the kind which are needed to make this particular sort of ghost story work. Walton in particular gives a superb portrayal of the grieving Audrey, avoiding the easy route of going for sentimentality and being all the more believable for it. Her developing relationship with the spectre-in-the-house is an intriguing one, with some interesting twists and turns as we learn more about his own story, as well as that of a local couple in the nearby village (Tania Myers and Nick Brimble).
Soulmate is perhaps slightly let down at the final hurdle, by an ending which feels somewhat hurried, especially after such a carefully built and paced set-up. Still, getting there is an occasionally chilling, sometimes quite moving trip, and Carolyn proves an able directorial hand. If you’re after an atmospheric ghost tale for the winter months, this is a recommended choice.