Channel 4: PREMIERE Saturday 17 October, 6.45pm
Alden Ehrenreich (the lad from Tetro and Stoker) and Alice Englert (daughter of distinguished New Zealand film-maker Jane Campion) as star-crossed teenage lovers in a South Carolina backwater of dark secrets and superstitions. Despite the supernatural trappings, this not so much an awkward Twilight clone as a romantic Southern-fried celebration of outsiders in a repressive community.
With 60s icons Kurt Vonnegut, Bob Dylan and Boo Radley reduced to pop-cultural toss-offs alongside a critique of James Cameron’s Titanic and copious quotes from barfly poet Charles Bukowski, the dialogue is so full of wearying exchanges, so waspish and snidey, you’d imagine Cody Diablo had a hand in the script. In fact, it’s by Unstrung Heroes screenwriter Richard LaGravenese, Oscar-nominated 20 years ago for The Fisher King.
Bear in mind in the meantime he’s also directed a couple of Hilary Swank stinkers, PS I Love You and Freedom Writers. This is also a bit fey, but it’s amusing and catches fire whenever Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rossum are on screen, spicing up the spells. Emma Thompson’s funny, too, as a possessed Jesus-freak.