THE LEGEND OF LONGWOOD (Netherlands/Ireland/Germany/PG/99mins) Directed by Lisa Mulcahy. Starring Lucy Morton, Lorcan Bonner, Thekla Reuten, Brendan Conroy, Miriam Margoyles, Lorcan Cranitch, Stephen Cromwell, Aaron Kinsella, Fiona Glascott, Scott Graham, Ben Harte, Art Kearns, Kate Gilmore. THE PLOT: With her dad missing in action for the last four years, 12-year-old Mickey Miller (Morton) is in no mood up leave sunny New York and head to the wilds of Ireland along with her mum (Reuten) and her little brother, Danny (Kinsella). That new life becomes that little bit more bearable though when Lisa learns of a 300-year-old curse on this tiny town, wherein a mysterious Black Knight appears, out to avenge the death of his children. As Mickey gets deeper and deeper into the myth, she steps on the toes of bride-to-be Caitlin Lemon (Glascott), who is about to marry the lord of the manor (Conroy), now that his eccentric mother (Margoyles) has mysteriously popped her clogs. Can Mickey get to the bottom of the legend before the wicked Caitlin banishes all the legend’s white horses from the estate forever…? THE VERDICT: One of those old-fashioned live-action children’s films that Disney so loved to produce in the 1970s, ‘The Legend Of Longwood’ is both timeless and out-of-time. Shamelessly hokey, there’s also an undeniable charm here, one that would no doubt work wonders on a sweet-natured young girl with a love of horses and a belief in magic. Only trouble is, they’re a rare breed at the cinema these days, and ‘Longwood’ is more likely to find an appreciative audience at home.
For everyone else, this well be all just a little too diddley-aye-meets-Dopey Hollow. RATING: 2/5 Review by Paul Byrne