The Acid House

Director:Paul McGuigan
Writer:Irvine Welsh
Zeitgeist Films; NR; 112 minutes
Cast:Gary McCormack, Stephen McCole, Michelle Gomez

The Acid House is three brief, unconnected films culled from Irvine Welsh's short story collection of the same name. The Edinburgh underbelly is his main concern: bad luck, brute hearts, gross jokes, massive social dysfunction.

The momentous anxiety and cold-sweat humor of Welsh-penned Trainspotting get lost in The Acid House. Whereas the magical realism of the former was stylistic alone, and thus successful, in The Acid House Welsh goes sordidly surreal. God is a vengeful wino who turns a lowlife into a fly in “The Granton Star Clause.” The title sketch sees an unborn infant switch consciousness with a tripping — so the newborn emerges with a filthy tongue. “A Soft Touch,” about a sheepish man beleaguered by his ravenous wife, is the most effective of the bunch, but the scatteredness of the collection makes the jumpy material lose force.

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