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With nowhere else to hide, a group of mercenaries and their two prisoners take cover inside a long abandoned Bulldog tank. But, while they try to keep the forces outside at bay, the real ... See full summary »
ITS HALLOWEEN. LUCAS, A SEVEN YEAR OLD BOY IS HOME ALONE, HE FINDS OUT HIS PUMPKIN BAG IS MISSING, SOMEONE TOOK IT AND HAS EATEN ALL THE CANDY. LUCAS FOLLOWS THE WRAPPINGS PATH NOT KNOWING THAT IT LEADS TO A TRAP.
After serving jail time for a mysterious crime, Bill and Karl get out of jail and become preoccupied with figuring out who turned them in to the police. On top of that, the "family business" is on the rocks, and the motley crew of criminals who operate out of Down Terrace aren't feeling terribly trusting of one another. It might look like an ordinary house, but at Down Terrace, the walls are closing in... Written by
Newport Beach Film Festival
Actress Julia Deakin (Maggie) and actor Michael Smiley (Pringle) both had roles in Spaced (1999), which was helmed by Edgar Wright. Edgar Wright would later go on to executive produce director Ben Wheatley's third feature film Sightseers (2012). See more »
Looking at the DVD cover of Down Terrace, you would be forgiven for dismissing it as yet another geezer-filled entry into the British crime genre, directed by somebody who watched Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) growing up and fancied themselves as capable of doing the same. Yet Ben Wheatley's debut feature goes out to do exactly the opposite, and instead of motor- mouthed crims with ridiculous nicknames and heists-gone-wrong, we get a kitchen-sink drama, at least for the first two-thirds, filmed almost entirely within the constraints of a run-of-the-mill house in Brighton.
After a stint in prison, Karl (Robin Hill, who co-wrote the script with Wheatley) returns to the family home with his father Bill (Robert Hill, Robin's real-life father) to try and sniff out the rat who is threatening to bring down their criminal organisation. With the help of mother Mags (Julia Deakin), they invite various associates, including idiot club owner Garvey (Tony Way), muscle Eric (David Schaal) and hit-man Pringle (Michael Smiley), to their home in an attempt to suss them out. Karl is barely able to cope with the relentless criticism dished out by his father and his family's general dysfunction, and the atmosphere is made worse with the re-appearance of Valda (Kerry Peacock), an old flame now (apparently) pregnant with Karl's child.
Channelling the work of various British film-makers, including Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Shane Meadows, Down Terrace attempts to draw you in slowly, creating an atmosphere of unease before unleashing its bloody final act. It should be a clever subversion of the genre, and in some ways it is, but this is hampered by a measured approach and a self-awareness, similar to the problems Sightseers (2012) had. There isn't a fault to be had with the performances, especially Robert Hill as the everyman crime boss with a slight aura of buffoonery about him. It's also very funny on occasion, and one of Wheatley's real strengths as a film-maker is luring you in with laughs while never allowing you to be completely comfortable. Ultimately, it's a distinctive test of endurance with flashes of brilliance, doing wonders with a micro-budget.
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