The latest film from Abner Pastoll, A Good Woman is Hard to Find, was an odd choice to close Frightfest 2019, the 20th anniversary of the biggest and best horror festival in the UK. For one thing, the Soska Sisters were debuting their Rabid reboot immediately beforehand. For another, it’s more of a crime thriller than an out-and-out horror movie.
As it turned out, A Good Woman is Hard to Find was the perfect closer for this year’s festivities. A dark, grueling, and ultimately, sadly realistic tale of a woman on the edge who goes to extreme lengths to protect her children after unintentionally getting involved with a local crim, the film is refreshingly female-focused without feeling the need to pat itself on the back for it.
Pastoll’s direction is assured, his eye focused, while Sarah Bolger’s performance in the leading role is nothing short of extraordinary. Utterly vanity-free and completely fearless, it stakes a claim for the Irish actress as one of the most interesting performers working today. To Pastoll’s credit, he leans back, giving her room to shine throughout.
The Frightfest synopsis makes it clear why this film was chosen to close the festival:
A dynamic killer thriller with its finger firmly on the pulses of stark social commentary and shattering suspense, Road Games director Abner Pastoll crafts a dazzling, dark and daring journey through Northern Ireland’s criminal underbelly. Recently widowed mother of two Sarah (a tour de force Sarah Bolger) is desperate to know who murdered her husband in front of their young son, rendering him mute. Coerced into helping a low-life drug-dealer stash narcotics stolen from the local Mr. Big, she’s forced to go beyond humanity into taking drastic action to protect her children while learning the awful truth about her spouse.
Abner Pastoll directed A Good Woman is Hard to Find from a script by Ronan Blaney. Bolger stars opposite Edward Hogg, Andrew Simpson, Caolan Byrne, and Packy Lee in the Belfast-set crime thriller.
Wicked Horror nabbed the film-maker for a cheeky chat, mostly centered on why he continues to cast brilliant Irish people in his films (long may it continue).
Interview conducted by: Joey Keogh
Camera: Richard Waters
Editing: Richard Waters