Monday 22 July 2019

Dublin actress Seana Kerslake wows critics as 'Variety' predicts stardom

Dublin actress wows critics as 'Variety' predicts stardom, writes Jim Gallagher

Seana Kerslake
Seana Kerslake
PERFORMANCE: Seana Kerslake. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Seána Kerslake in ‘Can’t Cope Won’t Cope’. Photo: Naomi Gaffey
Seana Kerslake attends the "The Hole In The Ground" Premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival at Egyptian Theatre on January 25, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Seána Kerslake and Norma Sheahan in Can't Cope Won't Cope, RTE

Jim Gallagher

Hollywood insiders are tipping Irish actress Seana Kerslake for stardom after her latest movie received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Dubliner stars as a mum trying to start a new life in a remote part of the country with a troubled young son in horror film The Hole in the Ground.

The movie had its world premiere at the famous festival in Park City, Utah, and received critical and popular acclaim.

Industry bible Variety said of the Can't Cope, Won't Cope actress: "Seana Kerslake is a star." Starburst Magazine said the film had "the strength to strike fear in the heart of hardened horror fans". It said the "incredible performances" helped to make the feature "by far the best horror film of the year so far and one of the greatest Irish horror films ever".

Seana Kerslake attends the
Seana Kerslake attends the "The Hole In The Ground" Premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival at Egyptian Theatre on January 25, 2019 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Movie website Births.Movies.Death.com said director Lee Cronin had used "flawless pacing" to achieve "a rousing climax".

"The film rests on the shoulders of Seana Kerslake's performance as Sarah, mother of the troubled Chris," it said.

"She is a unique and exciting horror character. When the film begins she seems small and shy.

"By the film's end, it turns out any weakness seen in Sarah was a misread. Sarah deserves a spot among the great heroines of horror."

Digital Spy said the "nerve-shredding" film was set to become one of the most talked about horror films of the year.

"Say hello to the first great horror of 2019," it said.

PERFORMANCE: Seana Kerslake. Photo: Steve Humphreys
PERFORMANCE: Seana Kerslake. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The film follows Kerslake's character Sarah O'Neill as she tries to escape her broken past by building a new life on the fringes of a backwood rural town with her young son Chris (James Quinn Markey).

A terrifying encounter with a mysterious neighbour shatters her fragile security, throwing Sarah into a nightmare of paranoia and mistrust.

She desperately tries to uncover if the disturbing changes in her little boy are connected to an ominous sinkhole buried deep in the forest that borders their home.

The film also stars Simone Kirby - who can currently be seen in RTE's Sunday night War of Independence series, Resistance - as well as Steve Wall and James Cosmo.

Director Lee Cronin said: "It's been a whirlwind since we touched down in Park City. The wave of support and positivity around the film has really helped quell the nerves that you cannot escape when premiering your debut feature at Sundance."

The Hole in the Ground, which was shot in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow, will open in Irish cinemas on March 1.

Sunday Independent

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