Calm With Horses – Film Review

Adapted from a short story written by Colin Barrett, Calm With Horses is a grim story that is set in Ireland and tells the story of ex-boxer Douglas “Arm” Armstrong (Cosmo Jarvis) who works as an enforcer for the criminal Dever family but he is also trying to have a relationship with his autistic son.

When a family friend of the Dever‘s sexually assaults a young niece in the family, Douglas has been assigned to punish the family friend as revenge. But when his revenge isn’t deemed appropriate, Douglas begins to find himself in trouble with the Dever family and questions his role as the family’s enforcer. Despite his flaws, Douglas wants to be good father to his son Jack (Kiljan Moroney) and he wants to spend more time with Jack‘s mother Ursula (Niamh Algar), who doesn’t approve of Douglas‘ association with the Dever family. But Douglas is loyal to the family, which will prove to be a problem for Douglas.

Calm With Horses paints such a dark picture that isn’t pretty but you can’t look away. There’s moments in the film that are so brutal and violent that it will make you put your hands over your mouth in shock, there are scenes that are so tense that make you feel uncomfortable watching, and some tender moments that will make you smile, such as Douglas playing with his son.

Calm With Horses is a dark story about one man’s struggle between loyalty to a family that gave him a job when his boxing career came to an abrupt end and a deep relationship with his autistic son.

Calm With Horses had it’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on the 8th of September 2019 and it was released in Ireland on the 13th of March 2020. Calm With Horses will be released in select cinemas in Australia on the 23rd of July.

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