A deadly serial pyromaniac is preying on young women in London's Soho district. Assigned to the case is a laconic deputy police investigator (Biggs) with a troubled history, a fondness for drink and haunted memories. When he meets a bartender (Haberland) in a Soho club who reminds him of someone from his past, the detective finds he is rapidly getting closer to the perpetrator of the horrific crimes. Written by
I was going to give this a seven, but after re-watching it with the director's commentary I give it an eight. Its VERY hard to believe that it was made for £5000... it certainly doesn't look, feel or sound like so cheap a project. It doesn't have the 'floating fuzziness' of other DV features I've seen (this may be, as the commentary suggests, because some of it is film?) Whilst the performances are occasionally creaky and the exposition filled with ellipses, it manages to make a merit of its weaknesses as it moves further and further into willing abstraction. Its ultimately a film all about Mood and, in a way that belies its budget, it makes its tight-framed abstract photography, eerie score/sound design and thoroughly non-linear approach to its narrative its strength. The result is similar to the style of Don't Look Now, both use the flimsiest of thriller conventions (and this one is pretty weak) to launch off into fairly abstract film making territory. A masterpiece it is certainly not, but as a no-budget B-film, I found it remarkable. Confident enough in itself to relish its slow dark mood in the face of narrative necessity, film students take hope here.
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