Canadian Premiere
Selection 2019


Directed by Pollyanna McIntosh

Hosted by Director Pollyanna McIntosh


Official selection

South by Southwest 2019, What the Fest!? 2019, Cinepocalypse 2019, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019


Pollyanna McIntosh


Pollyanna McIntosh


Cooper Andrews, Bryan Batt, Lauryn Canny, Pollyanna McIntosh, Nora-Jane Noone


Dark Sky Films

USA 2019 101 mins OV English
Genre DramaThrillerHorror

“A movie that never stops moving and tackles the patriarchy with bloody teeth”
Brian Tallerico, ROGEREBERT.COM

“A horror-infused coming-of-age tale”

Late one night, a mute and filthy teenaged girl (Lauryn Canny) is struck by an ambulance outside St. Thaddeus Hospital, and she is taken in by the staff — who do not realize she was brought there by the animalistic Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh), who has harboured the girl in the woods for years. Darlin’, as she comes to be known based on a bracelet she wears, is transferred to St. Philomena’s Catholic boarding school for girls, where the Bishop (Bryan Batt) sees her “salvation” as a publicity vehicle to raise much-needed funds. As Darlin’ gets to know her eccentric schoolmates, the Bishop blackmails Sister Jennifer (Nora-Jane Noone) into helping him tame the wild — and pregnant — Darlin’. Meanwhile, the Woman hovers on the sidelines, waiting for a chance to reclaim Darlin’ and making short, bloody work of those who get in her way.

Each of the films featuring McIntosh’s savage antagonist has adopted a distinct approach to the genre, starting with Andrew van den Houten’s survival shocker OFFSPRING and continuing with Lucky McKee’s twisted family drama THE WOMAN. With DARLIN’, McIntosh herself takes the writing/directing reins and drives the story into religious and satirical territory that adds extra flavour to the cannibal-horror stew. In doing so, she cedes the spotlight to Darlin’, last seen as a little girl at the end of THE WOMAN, and here portrayed as a wild child slowly adjusting to “civilized” society — where the human monsters lurk under cover of church vestments. Canny completely convinces as Darlin’ — both before and after she’s able to speak to the other characters — and receives able support from Noone (who previously dealt with institutionalized abuse in THE MAGDALENE SISTERS), Maddie Nichols as an orphan who befriends Darlin’, and, of course, McIntosh herself. Gruesomely gory one moment, funny the next and scathing throughout, DARLIN’ reveals McIntosh to be as committed a filmmaker as she is an actress. – Michael Gingold