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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Geoff Bell, Adam Deacon, Jacob Anderson, Calum McNab, Duane Henry, Sophie Stuckey and Jessica Barden
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 11 March 2013

Lloyd is a young man just out of prison. He wants a better life for himself and his pregnant girlfriend, but finds himself pulled back by his drop-out friends and street associates. One such associate pays him money to establish an aerial for a pirate radio station at the top of a huge derelict block of flats. Lloyd’s girlfriend and his sticky friends accompany him, but the group is separated when the lift doors close and they are catapulted to the top floor. It isn’t long before the street wise youths realise they are not alone in the building. A little drink and drugs party turns to terror when they are stalked by a thickset figure, who blocks escape routes, sets traps and toys with them, before seeking to take them out one by one...

The characters in this movie are undoubtedly the best and worst thing about it. By that I mean they comprise a street gang and, annoyingly for a home-grown London setting, initially speak like they’re visiting from the New York ghetto. Once they are out of their comfort zone and in the building, a little of this bravado is dropped, as they realise there are more serious matters at hand. It is at this point that you decide the main players are well-defined, even if you don’t sympathise with them. Of course, Menhaj “Hoods” Huda, director of the award-winning Kidulthood, has ready experience of this sort of thing - and it shows.

As for the plot... It’s written by Stephen Kendall and, on the face of it, is merely Ten Little Indians all over again. When you see a film like this, with a stalking killer dressed in a certain manner, there are suspicions of franchise creation. However, I doubt this of “Hoods”, who I believe is someone who will want to change and diversify as his career progresses. The identity of the forthcoming killer is rather ridiculously given away before the characters even enter the building, simply to offer a little logic to events before they even happen. The death scenes range from the inventive to the downright silly, and the fight between the killer and Lloyd’s gentle giant friend looks like a Christmas pantomime scene. The director cites the great John Carpenter (Hooray!) as an influence, but the master of horror is quite safe, because Comedown is not even in the same league.

If it sounds like I’m changing my opinion with every sentence, that’s exactly how I felt watching the film. In fact, viewing the Behind the Scenes and the Extended Interviews offered as extras, endeared me a little more to the project. Cast and crew all seem likeable people who are realistic and down-to-Earth about what was possible with the budget.


Ty Power

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