A film of beauty and intelligence as Perry Blackshear examines profound loss and love. Tom, a mute, (Evan Dumouchel) is on a break staying at a house next to an idyllic lake that has seen a number of unexplained drownings. Unaware of this Tom sets himself up for a good time taking selfies, though not to the water having had an accident swimming that crushed his larynx. Also living close by is Al (MacLeod Andrews) a man whose husband was drowned though he suspects foul play and is out for revenge. It is consuming him to the point of derangement such is his loss.

A mysterious woman Nina (Margaret Ying Drake) befriends Tom. A beguiling beauty she appears almost randomly and is never out of contact with the water. There’s an almost instant attraction and as they get closer so other matters come into play.

It’s an emotionally draining film as the characters develop and draw us into their lives. Tom looking for respite from a clinging religious community. Al with his constant torment and there is a monster present in the crystalline tranquillity of the lake. It has to kill to survive but somehow that curse derives some sympathy for it. Just as the curse of revenge is on Al to avenge the death of his husband, and the lovers who are cursed by their profound love for each other.

As suiting a story based on eastern European folklore there’s a tangible magic running through it, and as the film develops this mood grows stronger though never truly manifests itself thus offering a layer of ambiguity. In keeping with the origin and denouement of these types tales, they aren’t always about a happy ever after but…