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Acid House, The

Director: Paul McGuigan


The Acid House makes Trainspotting look like a mild-mannered youth comedy. The producers have said that they wanted the film to be 100% Irvine Welsh, and that’s exactly what it is, for better or for worse. Based on three stories from Welsh’s collection The Acid House, and adapted by the author himself, these ultra-gritty tales put the spotlight on the same sort of beer-swilling, drug-taking, lumpen proles that feature so prominently in Welsh’s most famous novel.
The opening segment, The Granton Star Cause, covers a day in the life of Boab Coyle (Stephen McCole) – one heck of a bad day. In short order, he’s thrown out by his parents, dumped by his girlfriend, arrested, beaten up and fired from his job. Then things take a turn for the surreal when God (Maurice Roeves) appears at the local pub, lambastes Boab as a chronic loser and promptly turns him into a fly.
A Soft Touch will likely be the most troubling story for viewers. Johnny (Kevin McKidd) marries the very pregnant Catriona (Michelle Gomez), who, almost as soon as the baby is born, starts making it with psychopathic upstairs neighbour Larry (Gary McCormack). There’s lots of fairly explicit sex here, including some pretty disturbing scenes in which Johnny listens to his wife being violated while he cradles their baby.
The final section, The Acid House, is an inspired comic fantasy. Coco Bryce (Ewen Bremner) is a speed-crazed madman who desperately fears committing to his relationship with Kirsty (Arlene Cockburn). Not too far away, Rory (Martin Clunes) and his wife Jenny (Jemma Redgrave) are about to have their first child. In wild leap of narrative logic, the baby and an utterly stoned Coco somehow exchange personalities, much to the dismay of all…

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