Devil's Bridge Reviews
Except maybe for writer/director Chris Crow. This entire film plays out on the supposition that well spoken landowners from mid-Wales experience the same sort of poverty and isolation that mountain men do in deepest Appalachia. The portrayal of Appalachians in American cinema as backward savages is seen as being controversial even with the extreme social and environmental conditions in parts of the region, so the idea that that movie stereotype exists in mid-Wales is not only controversial but preposterous.
The villain, Mr Parry rants and raves about strangers coming and taking his land and how he and his "daddy" (the Welsh are starting to speak like Appalachians now) used to burn down English holiday homes to keep the invaders out and has some swastikas tattooed on his body. This makes the film even more ridiculous, as David Schofield is clearly a well spoken Welsh actor, unable to grasp the more vulgar end of Welsh dialects, and can seemingly only say "bastard" and "fucker".
The script is appalling and deals primarily in unnatural speech patterns for the Welsh accent, which for anyone who hears real life accents regularly is irritating. The film seems proud of the use of the word "fuck" and as it drags on, it's use exponentially increases. One dimensional characters are here in abundance although mostly realistically portrayed by the three English outsiders, which may be because they didn't have to concentrate on buying into any sort of plot that would explain their trip to Mid-Wales; the reasons given here (a dodgy tax evading business deal, inexplicably to take place in a rural backwater) are so flimsy and easily discarded later on that this undermines the premise from the off.
The shambolic filming of this film could have been overlooked with a decent script. The actors are decent, so the shaky cam and bad lighting are rendered not as lethal to the overall film quality as they could have been, but couple those flaws with the threadbare and intellectually redundant script, and the fact that the shot composition, sound and lighting actually decrease in quality as the film progresses make this into how-to of bad film making.
The issues that Chris Crow identifies in this film are actually real, to some degree, and it is my belief that there is something to be said about that, but what's being said here is simply a message being relayed in the laziest way possible. Exploring social and political ideas through pulp horror by utilising a stock Hollywood concept is trite and cliched and if it is going to be done, it's on the writer and the director to make sure that there is substance behind the style. Chris Crow likely decided he wanted to make a Welsh Deliverance long before he'd figured out any reasoning behind how such events could come to pass, and it shows. "The rural wilds of Wales" are quite simply not that rural, and certainly not that wild.