Moon Dogs – EIFF 2016 Review

This coming of age movie has everything you’d expect from the genre, teen sexual awakening, drink and drug experimentation, the compulsion to escape coupled with the subsequent need to return, plus a promiscuous attractive female who lacks backstory and is used solely as a means of creating conflict, but don’t be fooled, there’s so much more to this Scottish based film.

The expertly cast Jack Parry Jones plays the Welsh protagonist and adds a refreshing new layer to the humor and already quick-witted dialogue. There are genuine moments of fresh, imaginative visual comedy that fit nicely within the style and tone of the movie, and the film uses the stunning Highland locations to it’s advantage, incorporating the impressive scenery into the plot rather than just being something pretty to look at.

The strong indie feel is exemplified by the enjoyable grunge-folk music, which helps enhance the well-defined story structure, which itself, unfortunately sometimes slips back into delivering unnecessary and indulgent genre conventions. The bog standard hallucination scene for example, didn’t add very much to the plot and possibly only served to highlight budget limitations instead. Saying that, the production does well to work within its means and manages to create a new style that keeps well away from the all too familiar Scottish grit and grime look. In essence, this is a great home brewed film that has the potential to become a cult classic. If only they’d had a bigger budget!

★★★★

 

Lee Hamilton