FrightFest 20: A Good Woman Is Hard to Find

It’s grim up north(ern Ireland) in Abner Pastoll’s thriller about young widowed mother Sarah (Sarah Bolger) whose home is invaded by a drug dealer (Andrew Simpson).

This Belgian-Northern Irish co-production is grounded by its estate setting and a brilliantly raw performance from Bolger, whose character has the kind of arc missing from a film like Satanic Panic. Obviously it’s a different kind of picture rooted in social realism, but unfortunately that draws attention to its gaps in credibility.

Even if we accept that Sarah wouldn’t call the police after a man has broken into and stored drugs in her house, there’s no reason for her to avoid sending her two young children to her mum’s house since she’s even invited them to stay there. This behaviour not only undermines Pastoll’s naturalism, but also the film’s notion that a mother will go to any lengths to protect her children since she consistently fails to do exactly that.

But what the movie lacks in realism it makes up for in edge-of-your-seat tension, great acting and some surprising (and gory) moments of dark comedy, making A Good Woman Is Hard to Find a good thriller whose plot holes are frustratingly easy to find.

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