Official Selection, Göteborg Film Festival 2015
Official Selection, CPH PIX
Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival 2015
“This is ripped-from-the-headlines cinema reformulated as real-world horror film” – Guy Lodge, VARIETY
When well-off teenager Sara settles in Bridgend with her dad, a police officer, the last thing they both expect to find is an epidemic of suicide, afflicting the town’s arrogant, disaffected youth. Sara soon gets to know the kids her age, and they’re a peculiar, melancholic bunch: roaming the woods and skinny dipping by day and convening at night for ritualistic, almost feral romps through the woods. Complete with burning pyres and death-defying stunts, they get together to vandalize stores and shout the names of their deceased friends to the heavens. Until another one of them dies and time stands still. Days bleed into next, then weeks, and before she knows it, Sara gets sucked in as well…
Between 2007 and 2012, there were 79 recorded suicides in the town of Bridgend, Wales. Rather than trying to provide answers for the unthinkable (and following an eponymous 2013 documentary), Jeppe Rønde’s BRIDGEND instead seeks to dramatize and reconfigures the mysterious suicide incidents as a tale of pure South Wales horror (reminiscent, in fact, of Justin Kurzel’s approach to the Snowtown Murders in 2011’s film of the same name). Starring an excellent Hannah Murray (of SKINS and GAME OF THRONES) in the lead role, BRIDGEND unfolds with disquieting grace, starting off as a mournful drama and ever-mounting towards a powerful sensory experience, both terrifying and tragically evocative, of misty small-town malaise, aching teenage lust and the generally dreadful, fever-dream pitch of adolescence. Looking for a new lease on life? BRIDGEND should shake you to the core.
— Ariel Esteban Cayer