So we wanted something relatively mindless to watch one evening during the Christmas break, and as it was the Book God’s turn to choose we got Outlander off the shelf.

High concept stuff this: alien spaceship crash-lands on Earth around the time of the Vikings, with one survivor, Kainan, who realises that he has brought a rather nasty creature with him. Said creature starts marauding its way through the local population, who of course think our hero is the person doing the killing, but then realise that they need to work with him to save themselves. Cue much male bonding, hunting, bloodshed, we-have-to-use-our-brains-not-our-brawn-to-defeat-this-thing, we’ve killed it/no we haven’t/ oh yes we have but at what cost shenanigans.

Things liked (not loved, you notice) = the Viking village was pretty cool and they were shown as being a tad more rounded and civilised than you normally see in the movies; the monster itself was quite impressive; it was fun seeing John Hurt as the local king rather than some big muscly bloke

Things not so much liked = didn’t warm to Jim Caviezel as the hero; the sci-fi bits that popped up at various points interrupted the flow rather than enhanced the story (and might have been better as a prologue); the end was a bit predictable….

Rating stuff = 15 (contains moderate violence and gore – quite a lot of gore actually, the monster’s larder not somewhere you want to stumble into accidentally)

Tissue count = 0

Safety cushion = not needed, but should have been

So all in all not a bad film, just a bit of a disappointment as it could have been so much more. Ah well, can’t win them all.

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