Monday, October 18, 2010

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)

If there's been a better, twistier low-budget British thriller made in the past decade, I've yet to see it.

J. Blakeson's debut feature involves a deceptively simple set-up, but one which requires an uncommon amount of balance in the actual handling of it.

There are only three cast members. Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston are Vic and Danny, a pair of kidnappers who met 'inside' where they plotted to snatch a daughter of privilege and hold her to a £2m ransom.

Gemma Arterton plays Alice, the chosen victim, in a role very different from her recent star turns in Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time...if only because there weren't any stunt men around for her to fall in love with!

Part of the pleasure of the movie is the extent to which we are shown and not told some of the crucial details. (Take for instance the moment when Vic wraps a SIMM card in toilet paper before attempting to flush it down the toilet, a professional technique we are thus given to understand that was beyond Danny when he needed to dispose of the shell casing.)

There's little more one can describe without spoiling it, so I won't. What I can say is that Blakeson has contrived a finale in which he is able to make the audience aware of the two or three valid alternative endings that his screenplay has been juggling, before serving up one last subtle twist, made clear by the reappearance of the film's title before the end credits.

Grade: A(-)

1 comment:

scott said...

I must see this!