Author Topic: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon  (Read 11850 times)

Najemikon

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2011, 07:38:28 PM »
Tom, I've also nicked some of your layout as I particularly like it. ;)

No problem. Glad you like it :)

You and Pete both post regularly and I kept wondering where you got the time to bother with all the details. Thing is, I loaded the bloody HTML window when you posted it ages back! For crying out loud, I even kept uploading the covers to my webhost when they were already available. :-X

Offline Tom

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2011, 07:53:27 PM »
You and Pete both post regularly and I kept wondering where you got the time to bother with all the details.
I am way too lazy to would have bothered with all the details manually. :P
But on the other hand I am not too lazy to program something which automates something like this. As you probably know I don't use the HTML window in DVD Profiler but something similar in my tool. Benefit is, that in my program I can also add my DVDCO rating, my review text, IMDb and Wikipedia links to the database and I get a fully generated review for posting it here (including awards). I also get fully generated lists for my monthly postings in the "What I have bought/watched this month" threads.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 07:57:43 PM by Tom »



Najemikon

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2011, 07:58:32 PM »
That's what I need, especially for my blog. I fall behind, only through laziness. If I had a template and could just post a decent looking review in a few minutes, I'd be flying. I should find the time and have a go; I used to program Access a lot so I'm not afraid of code, I just can't be bothered!  :laugh:

RossRoy

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2011, 08:21:40 PM »
I used to program Access a lot so I'm not afraid of code, I just can't be bothered!  :laugh:

Sounds way too familiar!  :laugh:

Najemikon

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2011, 10:22:48 PM »
I used to program Access a lot so I'm not afraid of code, I just can't be bothered!  :laugh:

Sounds way too familiar!  :laugh:

You as well?  :laugh:

Najemikon

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The Innocents *****
« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2011, 10:39:57 PM »
The Innocents *****

Year: 1961
Director: Jack Clayton
Rating: 12
Length: 96 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: PCM: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: PCM: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English

Deborah Kerr plays Miss Giddens, guardian of two angelic orphans. When ghostly disturbances make themselves felt she determines to protect her charges. Jack Clayton's superb adaptation of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw keeps us guessing until the end.

Fans of The Haunting will really like this one. And I mean the 1960s version, not the really crap remake! And The Others bears some comparison too, but this is far superior and doesn't rely on a twist. The story has a deeply creepy dark side and can be very disturbing, with echoes of The Shining.

Three comparisons in one paragraph! And normally I don't like the whole "if you like this, then you might like that, because it's like those" sort of review, but I'm trying to put The Innocents in context because no-one seems to have heard of it, which is criminal.

It's much more subversive than a typical horror. It even comes across as a very British period class drama complete with enthusiastic melodramatic dialogue, especially from Deborah Kerr. It would seem at home on cosy Sunday evening TV and you'd assume it was dated even in 1961, following as it did such revolutionary horror films as Psycho, Peeping Tom or Mario Bava's Black Sunday. But the flowery language and stilted politeness are a means to an end and create an almost satirical and cruel story that makes for an astonishingly powerful film. If anything, it is a finer piece of writing and more challenging than its more famous predecessors in horror cinema, but all go to prove that the early 1960s were one of the most fertile and important periods in the genre.

The story is based on The Turn of The Screw by Henry James, adapted by William Archibold and Truman Capote, who gave the story its twisted heart, subverting what you might have otherwise dismissed. And far from being the predictable old fashioned actress I may have insinuated she was earlier, Deborah Kerr, as the Governess Miss Giddens, is vital to selling this audacious plot. It is a captivating performance that traps the audience beautifully. Wherever your sympathies lie at the end will be because of her and in any case, don't expect an easy night's sleep after watching it!

The children, Flora and Miles, are played by Pamela Franklin and Martin Stephens. Essential to the story, the chemistry between them is wonderful, and so too their relationship to Miss Giddens and the housekeeper, memorably played by Meg Jenkins. Child actors are so often the weak spot, but these two will keep you guessing, especially Stephens. If The Omen had been filmed 15 years earlier, this kid would have been a shoe-in playing the little bastard!

For all the metaphors and subtext, The Innocents is first and foremost a visual ghost story. While it doesn't rely on jumps and gimmicks, Jack Clayton's clever direction, drawing together the brilliant performances and sumptuous sets, is complemented by Freddie Francis's gorgeous photography which will have you on the edge of your seat, peering into shadows. And while in the context of the story, the two ghosts may or may not exist, they will still make your blood run cold. A stunning moment on a rain-lashed lake is especially haunting, all the more for being in daylight. Clayton wrings every bit of potential from the frame without ever forcing the viewer's attention.

The result is possibly the finest ghost story ever filmed; a unique, memorable and important contribution from British cinema at its most confident. Big words, eh? Please give it a try.

Make sure you do on Blu-Ray too. The print is pristine and proves the real strength in high definition is not necessarily in CGI, but classic photography, where the depth of a well composed film comes to life. And in a sort of high class "Buy One Get One Free" offer, the BFI release also includes The Bespoke Overcoat (1955), a short film and another ghost story of a different tone to The Innocents. It is an absolute gem and, shush, but you might prefer it; it's that good.

Najemikon

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44 Inch Chest *
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2011, 12:20:04 AM »
44 Inch Chest *

Year: 2009
Director (ha!): Malcolm Venville
Rating: 18 (or not suitable for anyone with a brain)
Length: 95 Min. of turgid drivel
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD High Resolution: 5.1, English: Dolby Digital: 5.1 (you can hear the dull thumps of the screenplay in glorious surround sound!)
Subtitles: English (I'm ashamed to admit this film was English, yes)

From the team behind Sexy Best comes this potent exploration of the masculine ego at breaking point, set against the seedy back drop of Londons`s gangster underbelly. Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) is in agony, shattered by his wife’s (Whalley) infidelity with a young French Waiter. His motley crew of friends - Old Man Peanut (John Hurt), Beredith (Ian McShane), Archie (tom Wilkinson), and Mal (Stephen Dilane) - kidnap Loverboy, and assemble a kangaroo court so that Colin can restore his manhood with revenge. Loverboy's life is now at stake as Colin wrestles with heartbreak, anger, madness, love and self-pity. A powerful and explosive drama of retribution Nuts describe as a 'tense knockout'

In case you're confused, that's not an asterisk after the films title, it's the score. One star. Have I ever given such a mark before? I don’t think I have and let me quickly say why. For me, films even at their most serious and dark are an optimistic endeavour and should not be greeted with too much cynicism. Therefore, even the worst films have something going for them. Films depend on so much going right from so many different people, it’s a wonder they get made at all sometimes. Usually when I don’t like a film, it is merely disappointment. To get from two stars to one means it must have been offensive and pointless all at once. Which in the case of 44 Inch Chest, it certainly was.

The opening scene is wonderful; panning from the face of a terrified dog, across the detritus of what was his living room, the destruction of which was by his own hand, we find a shell-shocked Ray Winstone. The look on his face tells it all. He’s had a breakdown and taken the environment with him following, we learn, his wife leaving him for a waiter. The scene plays out to the tune of All Out Of Love, by Air Supply. Brilliant! This can’t fail. From the producers and star of Sexy Beast, which was superb, what can go wrong?

Not the cast, that’s for sure, all old hands at playing gangster types, they’re near perfect. As well as Winstone who is always great, we also have Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt (as the marvellously named Old Man Peanut, as foul a mouthed bastard as you’re ever likely to meet) and perhaps best of all, Ian McShane as a gay gangster, who is simply hilarious. Each of them have a good section of dialogue each, so I can see why they were attracted to the project.

So we have the star, we have the enthusiastic supporting cast and the story has started in a most appealing way. Where do we go from here?

Wilkinson plays Winstone’s friend who tries to help him pull himself together by loading up a van with their old cronies and one recently kidnapped waiter with a bag on his head and they rock up to a secret location and sit in a room and… well, that’s about it.

Winstone weeps and wails, gets angry, etc, etc, ad infinitum, while the others variously sympathise, reason, bicker or insult one another while persuading him to find his balls and murder the poor bastard (still with the bag). It’s like a play and if I wanted a bloody play, I’d go to the bloody theatre, thank you very much. And if I did go to the bloody theatre, it wouldn’t be to watch this self-serving miserable shite.

For one, gangster having a crisis? Tony Soprano has not only been there, done that and got the t-shirt, the t-shirt doesn’t fit anyone else anymore because The Sopranos have done this story perfectly. Pointless! Not only that, but the scripts on that TV show were clever enough to recognise the monster. Tony was a magnificent character, because of his “Who? Me?” wounded selfish pride. 44 Inch Chest wants us to understand and sympathise with Winstone’s character without a shred of irony.

So, point two. It has no moral core and no respect for the story outside of Winstone or that room. It’s just a stretched out exercise of him coming to terms with himself (a wanker) and being a grown up about it. Woo-hoo! Grab the fucking popcorn. What a thriller! Urgh. In flashback, it shows how his living room got destroyed. He pretty much used his wife, bouncing off the walls, to cause the key destruction. She ran off into the night, bleeding and battered and we later see her flag down a truck, but we don’t know anything else about her. She isn’t even allowed another scene with Winstone, to put over her side again…

Except for the dream sequence! You see, the script is so selfish, the only way the two meet again is in Winstone’s fevered brain (which also by the way, includes such delights as the other characters swapping heads, which should be all clever and insightful and stuff and instead, is just shit). He imagines she comes to the room, teases him, begs him, flirts with the victim… poor old Joanne Whalley is positively drowning in this testosterone bullshit. My problem is that she is simply a projection of his mind in this instance, so the screenplay is actually completely unable to flesh her out properly, other than as an object.

Because you see… oh, hold on… am I still counting these points? Bollocks to it… anyway, my overriding sense is that the sheer out dated male-ness of the whole thing is nauseating. And the ending is such a complete sodding cop-out that it is so insulting.

I think I can see why it’s like this. A few years ago I saw a film called Swimming With Sharks, about the cut-throat world of agents in Hollywood. It was an average film overall, but what struck me was that the screenplay was clearly autobiographical, it was so sharp and well observed (idealistic junior agent suffers abuse and bullying from his boss) until part way through when it turned into fantasy (he kidnaps his boss and tortures him into admitting he was a bastard). It seemed obvious that the guy wrote about his actual life in the office and then what he would like to do, whereas in reality he was still in the office, being bullied (until he sold that actual screenplay, probably!). Most of us have sat in a crap job and dreamed about the day they’d listen to us or we’d burn the building down… haven’t we? Er… moving on.

Anyway, it seems clear that one, if not both, of the writers Louis Mellis and David Scinto have used this screenplay to write about how they felt when the love of their life pissed off with the milkman. And how they were going to find that milkman, and… and… cut his balls off… and, er… Ooh! Rip his head off! And… actually, they’re just going to sit there, moping and writing about it until they feel better, and never see their old partner again, let alone threaten the milkman.

But you have to have more than one coloured crayon when you try and turn your fevered fantasies into stories. You have to be intelligent enough to understand points of view beyond your own and even if you can’t do that, just having the guy walk away at the end, feeling all better, is bloody ridiculous! He put two people through hell, but now he’s had a think, he feels much better. Well, bully for you, sunshine.

Oh no. Spoiler alert? Trust me, I’ve done you a favour. I wouldn't mind so much if it was exciting in any way whatsoever. But it's just dull.

What a miserable, self-centred, clunky piece of rubbish this film is. Really. Avoid it. Ian McShane keeps making you think it might get better every time he opens his gob… he’s lying. It doesn’t.


« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 12:23:32 AM by Jon »

Offline Antares

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2011, 12:24:37 AM »
It's also one of the longest reviews you've written. Isn't it amazing how the venom just pours out when you write about a film you detested so much?  :laugh:

Najemikon

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2011, 12:31:25 AM »
:laugh: I know! I suppose it's a case of offence is best defence in case someone disagrees... :whistle:

Don't let it distract from the previous review though. Have you seen The Innocents?

Offline Antares

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2011, 12:32:40 AM »
No, but it sounds interesting.

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: "Fancy the pictures, me Duck?": The British Film Marathon
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2011, 12:13:53 AM »
I tried to figure out stuff with the html before, but I couldn't get it to work right.  I thought I had the code I needed in the editor thing, but then I couldn't get out of that without shutting down the program completely.

Offline goodguy

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Re: The Innocents *****
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2011, 06:51:44 AM »
The Innocents *****
...
The story is based on The Turn of The Screw by Henry James, ...

That seems to be by far the most adapted Henry James novel, although I haven't seen any of those adaptations aside of from The Others, which I liked quite a bit (and the twist IMHO doesn't devaluate it). Of other Henry James adaptations, I've only seen the The Wings of the Dove and Die Freunde der Freunde (The Friends of the Friends), and both are pretty great too. So I probably will check this one out someday.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Everywhere and Nowhere ***
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2011, 02:12:00 AM »
Everywhere and Nowhere ***

Year: 2011
Director: Menhaj Huda


When asked where he comes from, Ash (James Floyd) replies, “everywhere and nowhere”. Everywhere being that he was born in the UK to a traditional Pakistani family where his older brother, Ahmed (Alvy Khan), is his guardian and who encourages him to embrace his heritage. But nowhere because he's a teenager, trying to find a direction in life, preferably to be a DJ and mix with his friends, eschewing his traditional and strict upbringing.

The story of a teenager trying to please his family and follow his ambition at the same time is an old one, but always relevant and perhaps more so for this current generation of Asian youth. Ash considers himself British and more importantly, his is possibly the first Asian generation that is largely accepted as British, so the story refreshingly has almost no racism agenda outside of his older brother’s ignorance. The conflict comes not from the community refusing to accept Ash (on the contrary, his friends encourage him), but from his brother assuming the community is the same one he grew up in suffering persecution. His success as a small business man has made him arrogant and elitist. He still has a “them and us” attitude, so he assumes Ash must follow him into that business and keep away from the filthy nightclubs. In fact, it seems to be to keep away from anyone who isn’t Pakistani.

The theme extends to Ash’s sister (Shivani Ghai), who despite encouraging Ash to be proud of his talent, nevertheless is in an inter-racial relationship with Ronnie (Simon Webbe) that she can’t bring herself to reveal because the family wouldn’t accept him. And the idea of family loyalty is further explored in Ash’s friends, Zaf (Adam Deacon) who is streetwise, but devoted to his ill father, and Jaz (Elyes Gabel) who sleeps around, yet is talking about accepting an arranged marriage as the easy option, therefore possibly exploiting the very traditions he otherwise seems to rebel against. Finally there is Ash’s cousin Riz (Neet Mohan) who is impressionable and being seduced by extremist ideas.

That was an interesting angle that could have been built on more, but it’s let down by a dreadful cliché of a scene, the only time the film feels truly clumsy. Riz is pulled over for no reason by a policeman (Dexter Fletcher), who is such an unlikely stereotype, you think the film must be poking fun at him and the idea that Asian youths get stopped by police on a whim. Yet the scene then validates the police action because they find leaflets in the car! It needed Four Lions confidence to make that work. Any notions that the film had lost its way though, are forgotten during a fantastic club scene, where Ronnie gives Ash a chance to DJ. It’s exhilarating stuff and revitalises the story as Ash’s ambition is now validated. Music is a big part of the film throughout, as you might expect, and it all comes together here.

Menhaj Huda is not an overly ambitious director and he keeps focus on the characters and story. The narrative is straightforward and borderline naïve, predictable in many ways, but the quality cast treat it honestly and make it easily watchable. The relationship between Ash and his various family members (including Shaheen Khan and Art Malik) is very well realised. Alvy Khan is particularly good in an awkward role to judge as the brother. The supporting cast of friends vary, but Elyes Gabel stands out (some may recognise him from his long stint on Casualty) especially in a very funny scene on a cricket pitch. Katia Winter brings confidence to the role of Ash’s love interest and her scenes always seem to bring a spark to the story.

Without any hint of hyperbole, Everywhere And Nowhere had potential to be as relevant to this generation of Asian youth as Billy Liar did to the post-war teenager. It also stands as a more optimistic companion to This Is England or Trainspotting, not to mention undermining the cynicism of My Beautiful Laundrette. It just isn’t sharp enough to match up to those previous films, but hopefully that won’t matter to the target audience and they’ll take it under their wing. It deserves such attention. The extra features expand on what was clearly an important production for those involved.


For full technical review visit DVD Compare

Najemikon

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Island ***
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2011, 02:18:10 AM »
Island ***

Year: 2011
Director: Elizabeth Mitchell, Brek Taylor
Rating: 15
Length: 96 Min.
Subtitles:

Based on 'Jane Rogers' acclaimed novel, "Island" is a tale of yearning and retribution. Abandoned at birth, Nikki Black has spent most of her life in care sustained only by fairy-stories. Incapable of love, fearful and desperate for revenge, she decides to find her birth mother, confront her, and bitter enough to consider murder. She travels incognito to a remote Hebridean island where Phyllis now lives as a recluse with Calum, her son.

I had high hopes for Island after it had been on for just 10 minutes. The opening sequence is great, introducing the mysterious story by relating it to a short fairy tale, narrated by the films lead (Natalie Press as Nikki Black) as she journeys to a remote island to track down the mother who abandoned her at birth. Her dark tale of children escaping a witch is made even more evocative by beautiful drawings coming to life as animations. At the end of her tale, when the witch has been vanquished, Nikki says with quiet determination that she plans to kill her mother. It’s a fantastic start for the film. The regret and the yearning for redemption are already palpable, while the fairy tale framework is sublime and original and then with a stark promise to hang over the rest of the film.

Aside from the animated innovation, Brek Taylor & Elizabeth Mitchell direct with confidence. As Nikki arrives on the island, the shot of her walking away from the ferry is superb. The camera is tight on Nikki, while the tailgate of the ferry rises and it is clear she senses that the point of no return has just been reached. And we still have no idea of what she will find on the island. She could end up in a wicker man, even! Taylor and Mitchell’s film, based on a novel by Jane Rogers, has a strong identity of its own.

Without revealing who she is, Nikki rents a room from her mother. Janet McTeer plays Phyllis wonderfully well, with pride and dignity. She is a sad lady, in constant pain from some ailment and still grieving for a husband she lost a few years before in a boating accident and living in fear for her son, Nikki’s half-brother, Calum. He is played by Colin Morgan, who some of you may know from the TV series Merlin and he is excellent. Calum knows the island better than anyone, but he is a virtual recluse, because his mother doesn’t let him leave. The parallels with Nikki’s beguiling fairy story are becoming clear, only the irony is, Phyllis is no witch. Still Nikki’s intentions have not changed as she becomes too close to Calum and, despite herself, perhaps even to her mother despite all the anger she carries.

It is at this point that I struggled with the film and became frustrated with it. Whereas it had started with such promise and a strong focus with an intriguing story, by the second half it was plodding and meandering. Gradually, scenes stop flowing together, although they aren’t without their moments, such as Nikki getting lost during a storm. However, much of the frustration is with Nikki herself. I’ve liked Natalie Press for some time and she is great here, winning the viewer’s attention as soon as the film starts, but that attention is never rewarded. I expect the mystery of why she wishes her mother dead and her wavering emotions plays out very well in the novel, but the clever irony, supposed to reflect the fairy tale from the start, is a tough sell on screen when it has to be balanced so the audience still connect. Nikki is especially hard to like when she is so arrogant, aloof and alien to the island, despite her maintaining a brittle attractiveness throughout, especially in a stand-out simple scene shortly after Calum rescues her from the storm. I did love her fruity dialogue too! It’s in such contrast to the others.

The narrative develops into a “will she”, “won’t she” plot and Phyllis’ fate is truly unpredictable, but none of its possible conclusions have any weight of consequence that should support the powerful ending the story deserves. We were heading for Straw Dogs, possibly via The Wicker Man and instead it fizzles into a cop-out scene that exploits the carefully constructed characters; perhaps you can say that is how a fairy tale is constructed, but this has no substance to carry you through the credits. It’s brilliantly filmed, it’s just what happens that disappoints. The closing scene is so dull -and vomit inducing, thanks to a particularly duff line of dialogue- that what started as a very interesting and unique film with bags of potential is reduced to an exercise in banality. A real shame because Natalie Press and Colin Morgan give it their absolute all and the credits are wonderful, with a return for the delicate animations and that fairy tale sense of wonder.

Island is a passionate piece of work for Brek Taylor & Elizabeth Mitchell and all their considerable effort is on the screen, supported by emotional and powerful performances by the three leads. While it was clearly a difficult novel to adapt and something may have been lost in the translation for the ambiguous middle section, we might also assume the original story is to blame for a cheap ending that betrays the threads that were being so carefully drawn out. But still, it is an intriguing film that might reward repeat viewings and despite a sub-par video presentation, the DVD has an excellent gallery of bonus features that might just persuade you to give it that second chance. It is at least worth seeing to understand the passion a film-maker can have for one project over several years.


For full technical review visit DVD Compare

Najemikon

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Patrol Men ***
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2011, 02:24:40 AM »
Patrol Men ***

Year: 2010
Directors:Ben Simpson and David Campion
Rating: 18
Length: 90 Min.


Peyton Island’s inhabitants are supposedly living a contented life, secluded from the immoral temptations of modern times that mainland Britain is succumbing to. That is, so long as they are happy living under a strict curfew, enforced by a nutty Mayor and his Patrol Men, the creepy mute replacements for a police force. There could be a murderer on the loose and the charismatic Mayor is using him as bogey man to ensure the scared citizens toe the line. Alex (Chloe Van Harding) is a teenage girl living with her dad (Jez Jameson) on this island. She is friends with Jess (Josh Golga) who has only been there a few weeks and is willing to question the strange rules. When he disappears, Alex endangers herself to find out how and uncover the secret of the Patrol Men.

The real talent behind Patrol Men is in a precise understanding of the Thriller genre and despite the lack of resources, a neat sidestepping of clichés into something more naturalistic and tangible. It doesn’t matter that the vaguely dystopian theme is a well-worn template, because it’s told in an honest way that still has the power to scare and shows us the great potential of the filmmakers. Nothing feels staged, yet it is nevertheless dramatic. The opening scene is especially disturbing and perverse (hints of Dario Argento! Though a bit let down by the music) and while there is nothing else to quite match its promise, a couple of the deaths are suitably nasty.

The story was written by directors Ben Simpson and David Campion with Niall Maher and is balanced and well-paced. Dialogue is inconsistent, with some scenes flowing better than others, but small details that give a sense of depth and history to the background bulk up the plot. It doesn’t just rely on the central character either (note the sub-plot with a school inspector and an English teacher) and there’s even a bit of social context. It can occasionally feel episodic; it would work brilliantly as a comic, 2000ad style, or a creepy TV series.

As an example of the effort being put into this, I was very impressed by the great-grandfather character that has visions, because this is strictly not a supernatural tale, but all the best horrors have a dose of madness, something you can’t rationalise. This old fella is it and his few scenes are effectively staged. Throughout, Ben and David show a talent for precise composition. The poor quality set-up hides it well (not their fault, film-making is all about counting pennies), but they know how to use the frame to its best. A flashback moment with an Inspector is particularly good. The mysterious Patrol Men themselves do little, but how they are positioned and when they appear makes them very threatening. Wearing gas masks seems such a cheap solution, but it bloody works! You’ll remember them after the film has long finished. While you get used to the cheap visuals because of this confident style, the sound quality is fairly poor. It’s the limits of the environment though and there’s a decent soundtrack of modern music used well to break it up.

The cast are unknowns working for free, which is astonishing, because at least the key parts are very good. Some of the supporting cast occasionally look a bit lost and unsure, while others struggle to be consistent, but young Chloe does well as Alex. Jonathan Hansler as Mayor Yorke throws himself into the role, as a kind of Wicker Man Lord Summerisle crossed with a Bond villain. He’s great fun. Andrew Harwood Mills, perhaps the most experienced according to his IMDB profile, possibly has the most intriguing role as the Schools Inspector, but Anthony Abua as Okie, a reluctant helper to Alex, is the best, giving a layered and generous performance. His fruity dialogue helps give him the attitude and he wears it well.

The low grade production is bound to put people off, but those who make the effort will be rewarded with a decent story with a couple of scares, and an insight into a group of film-makers with a sharp talent that should blossom with more cash behind them.


For full technical review visit DVD Compare