Rating 2

Written and directed by Dan Reed

Starring Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer

I first heard about this low-budget (£1.8 million) British “horror” film (made, like ‘Severance’ before it, with money from the UK Film Council via the National Lottery fund) when it was about to be released into cinemas in April of 2007. The film was made in 2005.

A horror film starring Gillian Anderson sounded like a tempting proposition and I toyed with the idea of going to see it. However, I felt a bit ambivalent about the premise. In the event, the film was only given a limited release and it didn’t come to any cinemas near enough to me to actually get me off my arse and out of the house.

It is now available on DVD, so I rented it.

It’s not a horror film at all, of course. It’s a revenge thriller. Anderson stars opposite Danny Dyer, the Cockney actor (genuine Cockney, rather than Guy Ritchie-style “Mockney”) who was also in ‘Severance’.

The plot is simple enough. Gillian Anderson plays Alice, a rich and successful professional who wants a “bit of rough” and finds it in the form of happy-go-lucky Adam, played by Danny Dyer. While they are driving back from a party out in the country in the dead of night they are ambushed by “country-types” (see ‘Straw Dogs’, ‘The Wicker Man’, ‘An American Werewolf in London’), who beat Adam into a bloody pulp, blinding him in one eye, and brutally rape Alice.

From this point onwards the film is about what this ordeal does to them both and their need for vengeance. It attempts to deal with the psychological consequences of what happens, but it’s a bleak, cold, unpleasant and unrelenting film. It looks very British – more ‘Get Carter’ than, well, ‘Get Carter’ the remake!

Both Anderson and Dyer are very good. I wanted to see the film and I’m glad I did. However, I’m not sure what to make of it all. It certainly doesn’t work on any level as a serious portrait of the horror of rape.


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