Oddity // Overlook Film Festival: A Terrifying Time

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Damian McCarthy made his feature film debut with Caveat and won over more than a few horror fans. So, all eyes were on his sophomore effort, Oddity, at this year’s The Overlook Film Fest. Whether you enjoyed his first movie, or not, his new project is creepy enough to get under the skin of even the most fearless viewer.

Oddity opens in an isolated country home where a woman must make a difficult choice. Either trust the stranger at her door telling her she’s in danger. Or ignore his warnings that someone has snuck inside of her house. While the film toys with the audience before revealing the woman’s decision, we know that she ended up murdered in her own home. This sets her sister on a path to discover what really happened to her twin on that fateful night.

This Movie Is Creepy As A Bitch

I didn’t love Caveat as much as everyone else did. So, I went into Oddity with slightly low expectations and was blown away within the first fifteen minutes. Oddity immediately stresses out the audience by putting us in a terrifying situation. We enter this odd world with Dani (Carolyn Bracken) right before her untimely demise. We then abruptly shift to her twin, who runs a shop filled with cursed objects. Darcy is an instantly likable and sarcastic badass. She is grieving her sister and is especially feeling the weight of her loss as the first anniversary draws near. When she gets a visit from her former brother-in-law announcing that he’s found someone new, it rings the alarm for Darcy and the audience. 

Darcy decides to pay Ted Timmis (Gwilym Lee) and his new girlfriend, Yana (Caroline Menton) a visit. This is where the movie begins to walk the line between terror and dark comedy. This is also where it officially won most of us over in my screening. McCarthy expertly mines the humor of this awkward situation while steadily revealing parts of this mystery. As Darcy begins piecing things together and more unexplainable phenomenon occurs, it becomes clear that this will not be a simple tale of revenge.

Intersectionally Speaking 

Carolyn Bracken does a great job with both twins, but Darcy will be a fan favorite. I also love we have a blind woman who is smart, independent, capable, powerful, and fearless. We still get too many movies this late into the millennium that refuse to let characters with disabilities be well-rounded individuals. More often than not, filmmakers still paint this demographic as helpless victims. I love that Darcy is here to combat that narrative. However, this is one of so many movies I’ve spotted at a festival this year that seems to have an all-white cast. This is an alarming trend that I had hoped we were finally escaping within these last few years.

Sadly, most non-POC viewers will register this information. Even more concerning is that an even smaller number will care when it’s pointed out to them. While Oddity is a great time, and this cast kills it, I don’t understand why none of our core characters could’ve been a person of color. Hopefully, this is an area that McCarthy and all other filmmakers who made this error this year will fix in their next film(s).