The quaintest serial killer movie you’ll ever see, Robin Hardy’s other movie is a stultifying hodgepodge of faux suspense, fudged lyricism and enough Oirish blarney to turn John Ford green at the gills. Set in Dublin, it stars Gary Sinise’s wife, Moira Harris, as a ruddy-faced young thing who’s fairly bursting with sexual tension and Catholic guilt. The ants in her chastity belt attract a pack of gentlemen callers, any one of whom could be the psycho who’s chopping up other ruddy-faced young things in the neighbourhood.
The fixation with landscape, sexuality, olde worlde magic, oddball characters and ritualistic violence mark this as a movie From The Man Who Brought You The Wicker Man, but the DNA’s infected. Where The Wicker Man is mysterious, alluring and unique, The Fantasist is muddled, misjudged and awkward – the work of a man left behind by time, like the Hitchcock of Frenzy or your granddad jiving at a wedding.