WITHOUT NAME (2016) Reviews and overview

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‘A psychotropic faery story’

Without Name is a 2016 Irish psychological drama film directed by Lorcan Finnegan, making his feature debut. It was developed with writer Garret Shanley and producer Brunella Cocchiglia via the Irish Film Board’s 2014 Catalyst Project. The movie stars Alan McKenna, Niamh Algar and James Browne.


Eric (Alan McKenna) is a land surveyor in the throes of a midlife crisis, who is tasked by a mysterious client to go on a prolonged survey excursion in the Irish woodlands. Soon, Eric’s comfortably predictable city life is replaced by the chaos of nature.

By the time his research assistant, Olivia (Niamh Algar), arrives at the remote cottage where he is staying, Eric has become disturbed by the woodlands, and wonders if unnameable fears will take permanent root in his head…


The film was released on most VOD platforms on June 20, 2017.


” …for all of Finnegan’s evident filmmaking chops, the result is a banal rendering of nature, both of the human and dendrological kind. When it comes to addressing the mysteries of its forest and its hero, the answers are disappointingly straightforward.” Variety

“If the narrative ultimately seems thin, not to mention somewhat familiar and formulaic, the quiet menace of an ancient natural world under threat is nicely modulated. The actors all are strong, particularly McKenna, who conveys the terrifying isolation of Eric’s paranoia as he retreats further and further from reality…” The Hollywood Reporter


“An eco-terror version of Polanski’s The Tenant, Lorcan Finnegan’s feature debut depicts Ireland’s woods as a verdant nightmare steeped in dread. McKenna’s emotionally invested performance as the obsessively meticulous surveyor keeps the viewer off balance, and Finnegan uses creative optical tricks that seem to make the forest ominously breathe and expand as it absorbs the psyche of his protagonist.” TIFF

“It all builds to a rousing finale of interior and exterior settings cut together without time passing. Eric starts to vibrate between venues as though body is separating from mind while Finnegan introduces more horror elements and the visuals deconstruct into a hypnotic kaleidoscope of positive and negative imagery transporting us from one side to the next.” The Film Stage