Dagr (2024)


Dagr Review

When it comes to the watchable entries in an extremely oversaturated genre such as found-footage, the UK is not necessarily a country that comes to mind. Every now and then, there’s the occasional exception like Rob Savage’s pandemic-era debut via Zoom meeting Host. But now there’s a 2020 indie equal (if not better) to that with Matthew Butler-Hart’s devilishly delightful horror comedy Dagr.

Shot in about two weeks on nothing but an iPhone, Dagr follows two Robinhood-styled social media influencers (cheekily named Thea and Louise) driving down to a lonely countryside mansion for an ad shoot. These perpetually recording, phone-addicted Gen-Z-ers rob the filming crew’s treasure trove of fancy clothes and handbags their modus operandi. Our heroines may be attention-seeking narcissists but they help the poor rake up their views.

Luckily for us and them this isn’t a dilapidated Gothic wasteland mise-en-scène but rather a country house believable enough to host an artsy fashion campaign. However, once the influencers have reached their destination they find some footage of the filming crew who had set foot here moments before them.

Voyeurism is taken up another notch as these iPad recordings reveal in turn reactions of said crew while watching a grainy VHS-style video diary by an occult expert who ends up revealing more information about a Druid sorcerer from ages ago than she probably should have. Yes, if it wasn’t obvious before that this movie plays around with multiple timelines and film within a film narrative well, let’s just say Inception gets namedropped by our protagonists in the first half.

Titled so after the Welsh variation on word “dagger,” Dagr takes its sweet time stabbing you with expected found-footage theatrics. Keeping jump scares at minimum in his semi-improvised chiller, co-writer and director Matthew Butler-Hart proves himself adept at an old-meets-new take on the subgenre of found footage.

The pacing might waver a bit and test the audience’s patience, despite the easily digestible 77 minutes runtime. But it pays off in the finale with some shaky cam thrillers that are actually quite convincing as well as enough future potential for sequel(s) (or who knows maybe sequel because going down rabbit hole of Druid-era horror can be just as dark as period horrors set against Salem Witch trials).

With even a “blood cult chorus” credited among the music in end credits, Dagr boasts impressive sound design which includes some ancient Welsh throat-singing that is even more goosebump inducing than your usual nocturnal camera scares. The scared howls of cast members on other hand have been turned down by some convincing performances from well-cast duo Riz Moritz and Ellie Duckles as two ill-fated protagonists. Call me sadistic but it’s oddly entertaining to see these ever-babbling influencers reduce their volume as Dagr’s dreadful events unfurl.

Meanwhile, co-writer and producer Tori Butler-Hart is equally enjoyable in supporting part as ad shoot’s chatty Fellini-inspired, 8mm camera-armed director.

In general, Dagr may not be the most innovative found-footage movie of all time, but it’s a good one for its short duration. It takes many different influences and storylines into account which makes it interesting step by step. If you were to mix The Blair Witch Project with anything else, this film should be on top of your list because it already has so much happening in itself.

Watch Dagr Review For Free On Gomovies.

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