Children’s hymn Stumpy ain’t

Stumpy's Brae.
Stumpy's Brae.

Stumpy’s Brae writer Darren Gibson hit the nail on the head when he said “it’s far from ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.”

Cinema City was launched in Derry on Friday afternoon with a special screening of Stumpy’s Brae in the Nerve Centre.

The short film is based on an Ulster Scots poem penned by Cecil Francis Alexander ,who also wrote the famous child’s hymn, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.

For anyone not familiar with the tale of Stumpy’s Brae ,it’s about a pedlar who is murdered by a man and wife.

Set in rural 19th century Donegal, the couple kill the pedlar with the aim of selling his belongings to fund their journey to a better life in America.

To the untrained ear it was a little difficult to make out what the characters were saying to one another in Ulster Scots but it was never to the detriment of the film.

As you’d expect with all decent horror stories, it doesn’t go according to plan and despite killing and burying the pedlar, the couple soon realise he hasn’t quite finished with them.

As the film started to roll in the Nerve Centre there were a few minor technical problems.

Writer Darren Gibson could be heard joking that “it must be the curse of ole Stumpy”.

Although quite short (26 minutes to be exact), Stumpy’s Brae leaves a lasting impression.

It’s certainly not hyperbolic to label the film as an impressive piece of local horror and at times it felt more like a play written by Samuel Beckett.

As a piece of cinema the film does not fail to provoke fear and terror in its audience.

Although some scenes were terrifying, the film boasted a great beauty.

From the crackling fire to the rain rasping against the whitewashed cottage in the middle of nowhere - this was a film with no shortage of impact.

If you missed Stumpy’s Brae do not fret. It can still be viewed on the BBC iPlayer. Just visit the following link - and settle down!