Sunday 22 May 2011

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2010) - J Blakeson

Gemma Arterton wasn't nominated for the Orange Rising Star Award purely for her ability to pout in Prince of Persia or look good naked covered in oil.  No, she was nominated because she is a genuine rising star - and this film proves it.

This is a deeply dark and disturbing tale about two ex-convicts who kidnap the titular Alice Creed.  It's a tightly focused narrative that centres solely on these three characters.  The opening sets the scene as the men prepare for the events to come with cold and clinical precision, no words spoken, their characters and their chilling plan left to the audience's imagination.  But every nightmarish turn in the plot brings another thrilling twist - all is not as it seems.

The acting throughout is superb; Arterton, Compston and Marsan playing the protagonists with conviction and believability.  Their performances are integral to the film's intense atmosphere.  Special mention must also be given to the music composed by Marc Canham - its morbid tone perfectly suits the mood of the film.

Though unsettling, The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a powerful thriller and proves that a minimal budget has little effect on a well-cast and exciting drama.


NB. I have kept this review spoiler free - it's better not knowing anything until you see it.  However, the trailer below reveals a little too much of the story for my liking. You have been warned.