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‘Pass the Parcel’ as reviewed by Dara McWade

Set against the scenic locales of his native County Down, Conal Scullion’s Pass the Parcel is a riff on the absolute banger of a children’s party game. It’s a fun and lively film that shows real creativity. A fun little thriller, it functions almost as a PG version of Black Mirror’s Shut Up and Dance, with the titular parcel being, well, passed from person to person in a deliberately confusing and elaborate mystery – all under six minutes! The many, many characters (I counted eight in the credits), are all played with the cast’s native lovely, lilting Northern Irish accents. These various sorts are ordered around by a mysterious man over the phone, shot like a Bond villain. This conspiracy takes us from ancient runes to a snow-laden field, while its byzantine, nonsensical plot falls apart. Nevertheless, it had our live audience in stiches. Match this with some legitimately decent fight choreography, and it’s clear that Scullion has a firm grasp on the basics of his craft, and a lot of promise too.