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Devil’s Gate

Devil's GateA young woman with a dreadful secret,
  who has never given up searching for
  her missing mother, is lured back to her
  home on a small, foreboding island in
  the Shetlands where she believes her
  estranged and hated father is dying,
  little knowing her life is intertwined with
  that of a young man who has ostensibly
  arrived there for the annual Viking Fire
  Festival in Devil’s Gate
...”

ARRIVING ON A SMALL AND UNWELCOMING SHETLAND ISLAND, Matt (Luke Aikman: Freight) sees crofter Jake (Tom Bell: The Krays) tumble down the rocks into the sea as he frees one of his sheep from barbed wire. He pulls him from the water and, helped by strange local man Eagle (Roger Ashton-Griffiths), he gets the injured man back to his cottage.

While he is looking after Jake a suspicious young man — Rafe (Callum Blue: Dead Like Me) — appears and points a shotgun at Matt while telephoning Jake's daughter Rachael (Laura Fraser: A Knight's Tale), a trained theatre nurse, leading her to believe that her father is dying.

Rachael really wants nothing to do with her father, whom she despises, and had vowed never to return to the island. But Rafe, her former boyfriend, persuades her to come back, much against her better judgement. It has been five long years since she suddenly ran away to begin a new life and to search for her missing mother, whom she believes abandoned her. She agrees to come for the night only and is flown in, but the pilot (Noel Ingram) warns her he will leave promptly the following day.

When she arrives at the island, Rachael goes to the Post Office, where she speaks to Betty (Jean Heard) and Policeman Clem (Patrick Gordon), who offers to give her a lift to her father's cottage. It is clear that neither Rachael nor her mother Jane were welcomed on the island and were thought of as 'outsiders'.

Jake is a bitter and twisted old man, who genuinely seems to be distraught to think that his daughter had left him, and has taken to drinking heavily. Rachael tends to his injuries dispassionately and leaves Matt to care for her father while she unsuccessfully tries to find a place to stay on the island, ignoring Rafe's suggestion that she stays with him.

Back at the cottage, Rachael is haunted by the past and Rafe is becoming more and more agitated that he cannot seem to get through to her. His obsession with Rachael turns to jealousy as Matt leaps to her defence and he continues to be antagonistic towards Matt.

Rachael misses her flight and is forced to stay on the island against her wishes. She is coming to the conclusion that her mother may well be dead and, desperately upset, begins to question Rafe, her father and her mother's best friend Marlene (the lovely Lynda Bellingham).

But what does Eagle know and why does he watch over Rachael so carefully? Is Matt really on the island just for the festival and to photograph the wildlife? Why does he take photographs of Jake and Rachael? What is the truth behind Jane's disappearance and Rachael's sudden departure?

At times both sinister and disturbing, the dark thriller Devil's Gate gathers pace intriguingly. Nothing will ever be the same again as the truth emerges and Rachael finds herself in danger. Stark but brilliant direction by Stuart St Paul (Scarlet Tunic; Freight) gives this movie a compelling edge. One unsettling scene.

Devil's Gate also features: James Kristian as Bob; Ian Henderson as the Ferry Hand; and Marjolein Robertson as Young Rachael. Screenplay is by Stuart St Paul and Trevor Todd; Composer is Mark Blackledge; Director of Photography is Malcolm McLean; Producers are Jean Heard and Stuart St Paul; Directed by Stuart St Paul.

Devil's Gate will be available on DVD on 31 October 2011. Certificate: 12 | RRP: 14.99.

"At times both sinister and disturbing, the dark thriller Devil's Gate gathers pace intriguingly" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar