Make Up ★★★★

A deserted seaside town during the off-season has an ingrained strangeness all of its very own, and this Claire Oakley written and directed film delivers an uncomfortable connotation that something isn't quite right from the outset. Set in an isolated caravan park in Cornwall, it follows teenager Ruth, played by Molly Windsor, beginning a frightening obsession after she makes a disturbing discovery that her boyfriend Tom (Joseph Quinn) may have been unfaithful to her.

Windsor has some great screen chemistry with Quinn, and this manages in helping the film establish a dash of realism. Oakley's restrained camera work in conjunction with imaginative use of sound functions in conferring the vicinity with other-worldly qualities. The horror elements arise more from the strain of pressurised gender roles than any level of occultism and the story and characters labour in partnership wonderfully as Oakley begins to incorporate additional aspects into the narrative.

The more disquieting moments of the film originate undoubtedly down to the suggestive sound design and the subtleness in their implementation, and the thoughtful placing of these moments manages in exerting a comprehensive compelling and virtually hypnotic effect for the majority of the film's runtime. Make Up is a thrilling feature-length debut for Oakley and this atmospheric and captivating film has the earmarks of being an excellent starting point for the London based filmmaker.

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