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Out of Bounds (2003)

Not Rated | | Drama | 31 October 2003 (UK)
18-year-old Louise is stuck in a run-down girls' boarding school in the heart of the English countryside. Her only consolation, during the long cold nights, is Matthew, the American art ... See full summary »


Merlin Ward


Merlin Ward

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Complete credited cast:
Sophie Ward ... Veronica Van Huet
Sophia Myles ... Louise Thompson
George Asprey ... Matthew Van Huet
Michael Elphick ... Lionel Stubbs
Celia Imrie ... Dr. Imogen Reed
Julia Barrie Julia Barrie ... Isabelle Benallack
Richard Huw Richard Huw ... David Benallack
Chris Humphreys ... Detective Inspector Amer
Kelly Salmon Kelly Salmon ... Phoebe Benallack
Rachel Ibbotson Rachel Ibbotson ... Francesca
Jason Rush Jason Rush ... Police Officer
Tom Delmar ... Taxi Driver


18-year-old Louise is stuck in a run-down girls' boarding school in the heart of the English countryside. Her only consolation, during the long cold nights, is Matthew, the American art teacher and second husband of the headmistress, Veronica Van Huet. Trouble is, half term is looming and Louise cannot bear the thought of being away from her lover for a whole week. So she persuades Veronica to let her remain at school, ostensibly to do extra study for her exams. The holiday begins and the vast Victorian building is a spooky shell without the other pupils. Louise and Matthew grab the first opportunity to be together, but in their haste expose in every way their intimate relationship. Veronica, despite her considerable hurt and anger, does not expel Louise from the school, as she is acutely aware that her husband is the one truly responsible. She is also keen not to have a row with Matthew as she needs him now more than ever. In a conspiracy with the school's doctor, Veronica and ... Written by Merlin Ward / <merlin@creativewizard.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...a spooky, sexy thriller...




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Allein in der Dunkelheit See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Color (Fujicolor)
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Did You Know?


Spent two years on the shelf before release. See more »


Detective Inspector Amer: Good evening, Mrs Van Huet. I see you've got another dead woman in your hall.
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User Reviews

Better Luck Next Time Merlin
8 November 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

A couple of years ago I did manage to speak to writer/director Merlin Ward who like nearly every British screenwriter was having problems getting money for his projects and was suffering the heart breaking experience of seeing his screenplays sitting on a shelf gathering dust , so when I heard one of his projects was finally going into production I felt happy for the guy . Alas after seeing OUT OF BOUNDS I found myself asking couldn't one of Merlin's other scripts have been more deserving of funding ?

Some people haver mentioned that the look of the film is at fault and the whole feel of the movie has that made for television look similar to one of those feature length plays found on ITV during 9pm on a Sunday night . This is certainly true but it's the screenplay that's at fault . The story starts with an art teacher at an all girls school having sex with Louise one of the pupils . It should be pointed that Louise is 18 and well above the age of consent but I couldn't help thinking this doesn't make it all right in anyway and I watched this the same day as a certain Scottish football team revealed that their new coach was someone who spent time in jail for having sex with a 15 year old so sure as heck I wasn't going to empathise with the characters

Problem number one: I couldn't empathise with the characters but that's not the major problem with the script which lies in its contrived over complicated nature in the last third . Rmember when you saw RETURN OF THE KING in cinemas ? Remember everyone started reaching for their jackets and handbags half an hour before the final credits ? We have a whole series of similar false endings here where you think the mystery has been cleared up then BANG Mr Ward decides an already over cluttered screenplay isn't complicated enough so he adds yet another plot twist which makes the story more and more ridiculous as it trundles along

Merlin I hope you make a success of your career but remember one thing - Less is more

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