The very 1970s quality of The Shout is a part of its appeal, the sense of eccentricity and experimental attitude inherent in both the storyline and Skolimowski’s expostulation of it, and its exemplary status as perhaps the greatest entry in a peculiarly British brand of fantastic filmmaking that’s mostly been buried in the intervening decades.
Sexuality triumphs over civilization through a series of small betrayals, each registered with appalling, pinpoint accuracy by Jerzy Skolimowski's camera. Though Skolimowski had backed off from his formal ambitions somewhat (he once seemed a real rival to Godard), this 1978 feature is shrewd, imaginative moviemaking, a trance thriller that beats Peter Weir on his own turf.
I was reminded of those artsy mimes in Blowup. I had hoped to never be reminded of them again—but they had dropped some bad acid and were playing cricket instead of tennis, and now one of them was wailing his bloody head off. The vulgarity of this enterprise is much in evidence with the appearance of a Francis Bacon reproduction on the wall of John Hurt’s room. . . . This ploy seems a desperate co-optation of the culturally kosher as a coffee-table crutch.