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Great Lead Performances But Way Too Uneven
Michael_Elliott11 June 2017
Closure (2007)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Alice (Gillian Anderson) is a successful business woman who has to attend a dinner for her work. She asks Adam (Danny Dyer) to take her to this party even though they've only known each other for a few minutes. The two attend the party and then on the way home they are attacked by three men. Adam is severely beaten and Alice is raped. The two of them suffer the mental strain of what happened and soon Alice thinks it would be best to get revenge on the attackers.

CLOSURE was originally titled STRAIGHTHEADS when it was released in Britain but when it came to America it was given a new title and went straight-to-DVD, which is understandable because there's really nothing here that demands for it to have been shown in a theater. The quality of the picture is also lacking and with the rather graphic story it's doubtful too many people would have lined up on a Friday night to check this thing out. Part of me wanted to enjoy this movie more than I actually did but there's just no way to get around the fact that there were all sorts of problems here.

As you can tell, this is yet another rape/revenge tale and there have been countless ones made over the past few decades. You've got trash like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE as well as masterpieces like DEATH WISH. This film here doesn't really know if it wants to be a serious look at rape and its aftermath or if it just wants to be some sort of graphic revenge tale ala the remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. The film doesn't know what it wants to do so the viewer is pretty much just sitting there waiting for something to unfold and there were just too many logical issues that I had with the picture.

For starters, not for a second did I buy the relationship between Alice and Adam. The problem I had is that after the rape we pretty much jump a month ahead and the two are emotionally distraught from the ordeal. That is fine but the screenplay makes Adam a real mess of a character. Crying. Can't perform sexually. He really becomes a broken nut case. I understand he got beaten but at the same time I have a hard time believing he would be so connected to Alice, a woman he knew for a matter of hours before the attack. I've read reviews where people called Adam a baby and a whiner but I don't mind seeing a "weak" guy on screen but the problem is the screenplay just doesn't do the character or the situation any favors.

There's a twist that happens and some graphic violence that finally comes up. Both of these are handles quite well but at the same time it pretty much goes against what came before it. The film clocks in at a very brief 80-minutes, which is very short for a film from this period. There are some good moments here including the performances by the two leads. This is especially true for Anderson who was very believable in the role of the rape victim and I really loved the little touches she brought to the scenes right after the rape as well as her mental state throughout the entire film.

CLOSURE is an okay film but the flaws keep it from being anything better. As it stands, fans of the rape/revenge genre might want to check it out but others should probably start somewhere else.
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A nasty and effective British thriller
Leofwine_draca1 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Very much in the spirit of a modern-day STRAW DOGS, STRAIGHTHEADS is a lean and gritty thriller that cuts straight to the point with the speed of an arrow. It's a short film that smacks you across the face and leaves you reeling with the level of brutality and nihilism on offer. It's a film that came in under the radar, was pretty much panned by the critics, and disappeared again to line DVD rental shelves and appear on late night television. The latter is where I caught it, and I'm glad I did: I enjoyed this pared-down offering that, while being nothing new, is nevertheless engaging, often shocking fare.

The central casting is pretty unusual. Gillian Anderson takes the lead role, and fans across the globe automatically associate her with Agent Scully from THE X-FILES. In this film, she's a sexually-charged young British businesswoman who's about as far from the prim and proper Scully you can get. Anderson must deal with plenty of traumatic moment, and she's never less than excellent in the part. She also goes nude for the first time in her career, an aspect of this film which garnered more attention than perhaps it should have. She's backed up by Danny Dyer, an up-and-coming young Londoner who seems to be carving a career for himself in these dark, violent movies; I just saw him in SEVERANCE while at the same time catching the ads for OUTLAW amongst others. Dyer's a love-him-or-hate-him type of actor, and I think he's decent here – especially towards the film's climax.

Obviously, violence is the film's main tone and there's a ton of it. The initial rape/assault is as unpleasant as you'd imagine, and it's equalled by some nasty moments at the climax – including one use of a rifle that you wouldn't automatically think of. The script focuses on the unravelling of the central characters and follows their psychosis following the attack, and it's a lot darker than anything Hollywood would dare aim for. This is far from your typical revenge flick – here, Dyer and Anderson are truly hurting, and they show it – a lot. The last act might veer into the kind of predictability that comes from having watched the likes of DELIVERANCE and STRAW DOGS, but it's still well handled – complementing a film I didn't expect much of, but got a lot out of.
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Prismark1031 May 2018
Straightheads wants to be a modern version of Straw Dogs but just ends up being low wattage, low grade muddled revenge tale.

Alice (Gillian Anderson) is a high powered businesswoman who enters into a relationship with young Adam (Danny Dyer) who only came round to install a security system in her flat.

Alice probably wants a bit of rough and asks Adam to attend a party in the countryside. On their way home, Adam is attacked by three men, Alice is raped.

A month later, still traumatised after the attack, Alice wants revenge and track the men down.

Even with its short running time, this is a slow tedious film and badly shot. I never bought the relationship between the two people. We initially see Adam spying on her in his monitor as Alice comes home from work. After the attack he feels impotent, smokes dope and watches porn.
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An Eye for an Eye (Literally)
claudio_carvalho11 July 2008
After the installation of an alarm system by the twenty-three year old low-class Adam (Danny Dyer) in her fancy upper class apartment, the sophisticated owner Alice (Gillian Anderson) invites him to go with her in her boss' "opening house" boring party in the countryside. Adam dates Alice and has a dream night in the fashionable party inclusive having sex with her. While driving back home in a lonely cobblestone road in the middle of the night, Alice hits a moose and the couple parks the car to remove the wounded animal from the road. However, a van stops and a gang brutally assaults Adam and rapes Alice. One month later, Adam is impotent with Alice, has awful scars in his face and a blind eye and the traumatized Alice returns to her work. However, she is informed that her father has passed away and she travels back to the countryside to visit her father's home. While driving back home, she meets one of her rapist by chance and she discovers where he lives. Alice meets Adam and convinces him to come with her to take revenge against the violent man.

"Closure" is a weird movie, with a promising premise wasted in an awful and pointless screenplay. The story begins with an absolutely poor development of the lead characters: who is upper-middle class Alice; what is her profession; and how is her relationship the "alarm guy" Adam? I understand that they might have had a past since Alice has a suit that fits perfectly in Adam; otherwise she is simply a woman seeking for one night stand. In the story, Alice is a tough character seeking revenge while Adam is weak; however, the situation reverts in the end, and Adam's attitude is totally plausible and believable; but Alice seems to feel sorry and sympathy for the violent rapist and the whole plot becomes senseless and pointless. In my opinion, Dan Reed lost the opportunity to make a great revenge movie like, for example, Neil Jordan's "The Brave One" of the same year (2007) is. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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kosmasp4 November 2010
Maybe they should have called Agent Scully instead and ... Well I should stop right there. First off, I don't even know which one was Scully and second of all, this is one of the traps our leading lady might fall into. Even me, and I haven't seen any X-Files episode, know her from that show. And while she was really good and funny in a romantic comedy 10 years ago, I do think that the X-Files are hanging over her head (for most people that is).

But that is not, what is most wrong about this movie. It is very bleak and very dark (and I'm not only talking cinematography, which is fine, but also mood-wise). I wouldn't have a problem with that and even the female lead gets away with it (and then some), but Danny Dyer is the weak link here.

He seems like a fun bloke (as you would say), but he can't handle the role. Plus it's not superbly written to begin with. Still and because I do love strange things, I kinda bared with it all ... I can't promise you will be able too though (or if you are gonna even love it... ?)
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What would you do?
BA_Harrison7 May 2012
Looking to create some space on my DVD shelf, I decided to watch Straightheads, which has been gathering dust for quite some time largely due to its bewildering title which gives zero indication of what the film is actually about. On seeing that Danny Dyer was in it, I almost put the damn thing straight back (hell, I almost threw it in the bin), but being rather partial to a bit of Gillian Anderson, and noticing that she gets her kit off in this film (must be why I bought it in the first place), I opted to go ahead and watch it. And it's pretty damn good, a brutal rape/revenge tale that isn't afraid to play things a little differently.

Anderson is Alice, a successful London businesswoman who sinks her cougar claws into cheeky Cockney alarm installer Adam (Dyer, who is actually bearable for a change), inviting him to a swanky party and then shagging him in the woods. The evening ends badly, however, when a road-rage incident on the way home results in the couple being brutally attacked by three men; Adam receives a right-royal kicking that leaves him blind in one eye, and Alice is left walking funny after a brutal gang rape.

A month later, while driving down a country lane, Alice recognises one of her attackers and follows him home. Soon after, Adam accompanies Alice to the man's house where they spot all three of their assailants. The scene is now set for some good old-fashioned retribution, but matters become complicated due to Adam's initial reluctance to resort to violence and unforeseen developments that leave Alice ambivalent about her plans for revenge.

These conflicting emotions go to make Straightheads far less 'cut and dried' and consequently more intriguing than many rape/revenge movies, which usually offer only one inevitable outcome; however, those viewers for whom a satisfying revenge is paramount needn't think that they're going to be cheated: all three men do get their just desserts, it's just not always obvious which character is going to serve it up. The violence, when it eventually happens, is not as graphic as many (including myself) would probably like, but what occurs is still cringe-worthy, especially when the barrel of a rifle is used to give one unlucky rapist a taste of his own medicine and the term 'an eye for an eye' is taken literally with the help of a big knife.

With justice having been done, the film ends abruptly, leaving the viewer to ponder what they would have done in the same situation.

7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb, meaning that the film is now deserving of a permanent place on my shelf (although if that terrible deleted cake scene in the DVD extras had made it into the final cut, I might not have been quite as generous).
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There is nothing like revenge.
michaelRokeefe9 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This UK psychological thriller is known in the United States as CLOSURE. Exploitation of X-Files' Gillian Anderson, who plays an attractive middle aged businesswoman of substance named Alice. She must attend a business party and invites Adam(Danny Dyer), who just installed a security system for her, to be her escort. On the way home, speeding through the woods on a narrow lane, Alice's auto collides with a deer. After pulling the wounded animal off the road, the couple is savagely attacked by a drunken gang of thugs. Adam is beat to a pulp; Alice is gang raped and both are emotionally and physically devastated by the ruthless attack. When the identities of their attackers are discovered, Alice and Adam set out to exact revenge...brutal revenge. The couple at times find themselves at odds on how to deal with the ruthless attackers. Their final decision is to avenge with no mercy. Let there be no mistake, payback IS hell. Also in the cast: Anthony Calf, Ralph Brown, Francesca Fowler and Antony Byrne. Brutal violence, disturbing images, nudity and graphic rape.
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Disappointing British thriller.
poolandrews10 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Straightheads starts as successful London businesswoman Alice Comfort (Gillian Anderson) talks her security installation guy Adam (Danny Dyer) into attending a big party at her boss's house out in the country, he agrees to go along. While making their way home an unsavoury road rage incident happens on a isolated country road & the incident quickly escalates, Adam is beaten up while Alice is bent over the bonnet of her car & gang raped. For some reason they keep the rape a secret from the police & when by coincidence Alice sees one of her attackers again she & Adam decide to dish out a little of their own sort of justice...

Retitled to Closure in the US this British production was written & directed by Dan Reed & just from the plot synopsis one could be mistaken for thinking Straightheads (the worst film title this Century...) would pan out like a modern retelling of such rape revenge exploitation films such as Straw Dogs (1971), Deliverance (1972), I Spit on Your Grave (1980) or the Death Wish series as big city folk run into several sadistic backwoods inhabitants who decide to have some fun with them before the city folks toughen-up & seek revenge but in actuality it's closer in tone to something like Bad Lieutenant (1992) with it's very stark & minimalistic tone & feel. Like in Bad Lieutenant there's quite a bit of soul searching as the raped eventually forgives the rapist & even saves his life in a rather unsatisfactory ending. Straightheads is an extremely short film clocking in at under 80 minutes & despite such a short running time it's a surprisingly barren & empty film that drags. After the initial rape & attack nothing really happens for ages until an incredibly abrupt ending that I didn't like one bit, I mean I just can't like a rape revenge flick in which the woman who has been raped actually begs for her attackers life to be spared! There's little in the way of effective violence or exploitation which again considering the theme of the film has to be a disappointment. I had a real problem with the character's here, I didn't buy a successful city businesswoman like Alice falling for a twenty something kid at all & within a couple of hours of meeting him Alice is introducing him to her boss, having sex with him & letting him move into her flat. It just didn't ring true to me at all, what would she see in him exactly? Also why did she not tell the police she was raped? No satisfactory answer was ever given as far as I was concerned. Both character's have little in the way of meaningful dialogue, we never really get to know who they are & the rapists & attackers don't come across any better with a pointless little speech at the end in which we are meant to feel some sort of sympathy for the guy. Then there are the highly unlikely coincidences like the way Alice just happens to run into her attacker again & they way that her dad's house is so conveniently only a couple of miles from her attackers house.

I like a good rape revenge exploitation flick & maybe that's my problem with Straightheads because it doesn't really play out to genre expectations, it's far too drama heavy without ever really being that dramatic or moving. The exploitation elements are weak, the rape is not graphic neither is the revenge part of the film. I suppose the most exploitative part is when Anderson anally rapes her rapist with the barrel of her rifle, apart from that the violence is largely off screen & amounts to nothing more than some blood splatter on a window. The film has a dark cold look & tone to it, there's not much colour to the picture & to show & highlight the obvious contrast between the modern clean affluent London against the dirty rustic nature of the English countryside was surely a deliberate decision on the filmmakers part.

Partly funded by National Lottery money Straightheads had a supposed budget of about £1,800,000 & was filmed in a month at the end of 2005 although remained unreleased until mid 2007. Filmed in London & the West Midlands including Worcestershire which is where I live! Not often we get films shot around here I can tell you. The acting is pretty poor in my opinion, no-one seems that interested & what Gillian Anderson is doing in this I will never know although fans of hers take note that she does go topless in this, Danny Dyer as her toy-boy love interest is terrible.

Straightheads could have been a great piece of rape revenge exploitation in the vein of Straw Dogs & I Spit on Your Grave but the poorly written character's & lack of any satisfying revenge means it's a bit of a wasted opportunity although having said that it's alright for what it is, at least it's short & where else are you going to see Gillian Anderson anally rape a guy with the barrel of a rifle?
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I can't just walk away. I wish I could.
lastliberal14 March 2009
You were never really sure of the exact relationship between Alice (Gillian Anderson), the cougar businesswoman, and Adam (Danny Dyer), the 23-year-old security installer. Initially, it appeared they just met, but after he was beaten and she was gang raped, he acted like he had known her forever.

After the attack, he is struggling with his masculinity, and she is bent on revenge. Armed with daddy's weapons, she sets out to make the men pay for what they did.

Adam has a real problem. he is no good to her in her quest for revenge, and he is no good to her lying on top of her luscious body.

When Alice went to take revenge, she used Daddy's gun, but not in the way you would think. An eye for an eye; a rape for a rape. Once Adam was turned on to vengeance, she couldn't turn him off.

Good acting by Anderson in a thin movie.
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Mercifully short.....
FlashCallahan3 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
After the installation of an alarm system by Adam in her fancy upper class apartment, Alice invites him to go with her in her boss' party in the countryside.

While driving back home on a lonely road, Alice hits a deer and the couple park the car to remove the wounded animal from the road.

However, a van stops and a gang brutally assaults Adam and rapes Alice.

One month later, Adam has awful scars on his face and a blind eye.

Traumatized Alice returns to work. However, she is informed that her father has passed away and she travels back to the countryside to visit her father's home.

While driving back home, she meets one of her rapist by chance and she discovers where he lives.

Alice meets Adam and convinces him to come with her to take revenge...

Another film with Dyer (Dire), and this when he was probably at the height of his career. Anderson adds a little class to what otherwise is a very mundane and worthless dirty film.

After the crime, we spend a lot of time with Dyer and his impotence,and smoking of marijuana, this is supposed to indicate that we are to sympathise w the guy, but it's very hard to.

And the fact that these two people became so close in such a little space of time is beyond ridiculous.

It starts nasty and finishes nasty too.
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Overly Violent Revenge Saga
lavatch20 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Gillian Anderson turns in a strong performance as Alice, the lead character, in this vigilante-revenge film. Unfortunately, she cannot carry by herself a film that relies far too extensively on gore for sensational effects.

With the possible exception of Sophie, the young daughter of the man who brutally assaults Alice and her friend Adam, all of the characters in this film are unlikable. And, apart from Sophie's father, there is no depth of characterization in the film, other than this small grouping of four roles.

The filmmakers were apparently trying to explore the psychology of revenge and whether it is even possible to gain "closure" through the application of "lex talionis," retributive justice.

The cinematography was a grainy texture that gave the appearance that it was constantly raining. This cinematic choice may have added to the gritty realism of the film. But, overall, it left the viewer with a feeling that the world is downright ugly.

This was a nasty, brutish film done in the tradition of Sam Peckinpah's 1971 classic "Straw Dogs." Unfortunately, it added nothing new to the notion of gratuitous film violence.
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Stevieboy66618 November 2018
High flying cougar Gillian Anderson and her unlikely toy boy lover Danny "geezer" Dyer find themselves in a spot of bother whilst driving home from a house party in the middle of the English countryside. And by bother I mean he is beaten and she is raped. Our unlikely couple then embark on getting their brutal revenge. And that's this film in a nutshell. It is certainly not original, but that alone is no reason to knock it. I could never really see the appeal of Gillian Anderson in her X Files days but two decades on and I have to say that she has grown into a very attractive woman. I think this was the first time that I've ever seen her naked (topless shown). She is also a very good actress and plays her part well. My problem lies with Danny Dyer. For a start he was 7 years older than the part he was playing. That's only a minor quibble. The bottom line is that their relationship is so unconvincing, he just wasn't the right actor for the role. And this let's the film down. There is some sex here but nowhere near as much as the DVD cover suggests. The finale is brutal, no question. But Dyer, a working class lad, has somehow become a very accurate shooter with a gun. The film clocks in at under 80 minutes, the deleted scenes can be seen in the films extras. Keeping it short was the right choice. Overall it delivers the rape/revenge plot, Anderson is great but Dyer let's it down somewhat.
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Just a little too late to the dance
MBunge20 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
If this movie had been made in 1990, it might have caused a minor stir. If it had been made in 2000, it would have produced a global nerdgasm of epic proportions. Making it in 2007, though, is just being behind the curve.

The story is about successful British businesswoman Alice (Gillian Anderson) who invites security system installer Adam (Danny Dyer) to a party at her boss' country estate. Adam is very much a working class guy who doesn't fit in with Alice's crowd, but they fit together well enough to slip out into the woods for a quickie. Driving home from the party, they encounter three strangers who beat Adam to a pulp and rape Alice on the hood of her car. We next see Alice and Adam a month after the attacks, living in Alice's apartment and still recovering from the trauma. When she returns to her parent's home after her father dies, Alice sees one of the men who attacked them and she and Adam set out to get even and more.

When I say it would have caused a minor stir 20 years ago, that's because this revenge film casts the woman as the cold hearted seeker of vengeance and the man as her conflicted, reluctant sidekick. Alice is the driving force, both formulating the plans and planning to do the killing herself. Adam, scarred and blind in one eye from the beating, clearly has no appetite for the scheme but clings to Alice like a life jacket at sea. The movie plays nicely with the idea of Adam's scars being visible but Alice's being hidden in her heart and her spirit. It also has a very interesting and provocative take on Adam's sense of emasculation and how he regains his manhood.

If it had come out 10 years ago there also would've been a noticeable reaction because Gillian Anderson gets naked. She's thoroughly topless in just about exactly the way every horny X Files fans ever wanted her to be (and I'm not referring to the rape scene). She was rubbing up against 40 years old when she made this film and does have the somewhat drawn look in the face women can get when they try to be too thin as they enter middle age, but everything between the ankles and the neck is still quite outstanding.

The problem with making a film like this in 2007, though, is that the bar for revenge films is set so high now. The beating and rape, while they would be life-changingly awful in the real world, are fairly tame by this genre's standards. Alice and Adam's violent vengeance itself, except for one penetrating moment, is also pretty unremarkable. And while making the woman the Charles Bronson of the picture is a different take, the movie only establishes and never really explores the dynamic between Alice and Adam. They're more like pieces moved around by the plot than they are characters controlling the story through their actions. And then when the movie flips Alice and Adam's perspective on their terrible intentions, it never really explains why it happens and then ends too quickly to explore how the shift would change the characters' relationship. This is one of those rare films that would have really benefited from being about half an hour longer and going several steps beyond where it now ends.

If it were a fresher, rawer story, its weaknesses wouldn't be as apparent and it could get by on its strengths. But we've seen this story so many times before, with the violence and emotional conflict far more heightened, that you can't help but notice the movie isn't quite as good as it could or should be.

This certainly isn't a bad film but except for Gillian Anderson's impressive boobage, there's really no reason to watch this movie instead of something else.
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Excellent thriller because of Gillian Anderson's performance, typical rape/revenge flick!!
joiningjt20 June 2021
It's your basic rape revenge flick I can watch anything that happens in any movie except rape so those scenes I forward through but I get what happens. It's the most disgusting and disturbing thing a human can do to another human I wish in reality the victims could actually do the act of revenge themselves.... now that would be closure!! Anyway phenomenal performance by Gillian Anderson and you Gillian fans get to see her in the buff, twice!! The other actors are all very good and the cinematography is excellent overall solid 8 thriller revenge film.
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Haunting Revenge Film
Reviews_of_the_Dead29 January 2019
This was a film that I hadn't really heard anything about. It was listed in a Horror Film Encyclopedia that I own, so I decided to check it out. The official synopsis is after surviving a gang rape and mugging, a middle aged businesswoman and her 23 year old boyfriend plot to murder their attackers, but find themselves conflicted about carrying out their plans.

We kick this off with Adam (Danny Dyer). He is on a scream that has some static and we learn that he installs home security systems. He is late for an appointment with Alice (Gillian Anderson). She lets him in and then goes back to work. She gets invited to a party to her boss' new home. Adam sets up the system and actually watches as Alice undresses to shower. She comes out and invites him to the party with her.

They have to go a ways out into the middle of nowhere to get there. Alice comes on to him quite strongly during their drive up. At the party we see that he is a tad bit of his league. The job that she has she makes quite a bit more money than he does and she is important in her company.

On their way home, they get behind a truck that is going quite slow. They blow past it and mock those inside the vehicle. The couple is brought to a stop when they hit a deer. They get out to put the animal out of its misery and to move it out of the road. The truck catches up to them and they aren't happy about earlier. The men that get out beat Adam and cut his eye. They then rape Alice.

The two of them wake up in the aftermath of what happened. This event brings them closer together, but it also breaks them in different ways. When Alice's father dies, she returns to the home she grew up in. He actually lives close to where the traumatic event happened. She runs into one of the men, but he doesn't recognize her. Her father was a soldier and she decides to take back her life and get revenge. Adam on the other side is broken and turns to drugs. She brings him to the country and what they do next defines their characters forever.

When I was making sure that I had the correct film, I saw that the encyclopedia on it compared it to a Last House on the Left. I can definitely see that comparison. It actually has a very similar premise to set everything up. The rape is much less graphic and I think a lot of it is that it takes place in the dark. The shadows are able to hide a lot of it. It doesn't make it any better though.

The aspect of this film that really bothered me was seeing how these two cope with their different attacks. Alice doesn't want the police to know and doesn't think they can do anything about it. Like most rape revenge films, she decides that she is going to take care of the men that hurt her. I have a weird stance with these films. I love seeing the women are empowered, but it is sad what has to happen to them to become that way. Adam on the other hand is broken by his attack. He has trouble getting erect and actually orgasm during sexual encounters. After what happens, he does need to be rougher in order to gain gratification. He also turns to drugs to cope. There is an interesting aspect to the film at the end though.

Something that really amped up the emotions would be the interactions between these two. Alice gets on Adam for turning to drugs and for not helping her as she goes for revenge. He comes off as weak, but we see the farther they go; he is more like the men that wronged them. This is in part to what they did, but also with how she is pushing him.

This film has a low running time and I think that actually helps the pacing as well. It moves through its plot-points and never hits a lull to me. I find this film is actually be more believable than other films in this genre for what happens during the end of the second/beginning of the third act. I found it to be quite interesting. The ending is different and I enjoyed it as well.

Acting is something that is quite important for a film like this. Anderson is an actress that I've been pretty impressed by in everything that I've seen her in. It broke my heart seeing her go through this traumatic event and seeing the aftermath of it. I had a hard time not agreeing with what she wants to do. Dyer though as her counterpart was solid as well. He goes through his own trauma and we see the way he decides to cope with it. I almost feel like that he is pushed into what we see by Alice as well. Adam Rayner is also good as Jago. He is a member of the group that attacks and the film actually humanizes him. When we see the truth of why he did what he did, I felt partially bad. It doesn't make what they do right, but his motives are hard to fault. The rest of the cast I thought really round out the film for what was needed.

Next brings me to the effects. There really aren't a whole lot and it didn't need them. Now there was a deer that was hit by the vehicle and when it stands up, it was done with CGI. I really want to know if there was deeper meaning by showing this. This was such a minor thing that it didn't really bother me. The rest of the effects were done practically and looked fine.

Now with that said, this film I thought was powerful in its own way. It is a different take on the rape revenge film. Seeing these two different people deal with what happened to them was good. I thought the acting made it seem quite real and heart breaking. The rest of the cast round out the film well for what was needed. I thought the film was paced fine and has an interesting and different ending. There's not a lot in the way of effects, but I had no issues with the ones we see. The score of the film really didn't stand out to me, but it also didn't hurt. Overall I'd say this is a good film, but not for everyone. If you can handle the subject matter, it is worth it.
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Not the Liberal Spin Zone
vitaleralphlouis16 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Unlike Jodie Foster's liberal agenda semi-flop BRAVE ONE, there isn't any agenda to this movie other than punishment for the guilty and taking action to prevent evil people from finding new victims.

The first reason, going back to the 1960's, for opposing Liberals was their tenacious sympathy for the vicious --- justifying their every crime --- and wanton disregard for innocent victims of crime. Liberals will not enjoy CLOSURE.

Although part of the storyline is too contrived to consider this an A+ movie there isn't any shortage of quality in the superior photography, tight direction, understated musical score, or the exceptional acting by Gillian Anderson. A special added virtue is the running time of 80 minutes. When the story's over is a good time to end a movie, but most of Hollywood lets them drag on to 120 minutes, regardless.

Rent this one. It's engrossing from the first minute.
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Straight to the insinuator!
asda-man14 May 2012
I love these types of film. Where a man or woman gets horrifically abused and goes on a bloody warpath of revenge! I know the plot is usually thin, but it's often exciting and engrossing enough to carry a film. Just the anticipation of seeing the evil b******s get exactly what they deserve. It's often a feeling of satisfaction. But, it certainly isn't the case with "Straightheads". A film the lottery decided to fund for some bizarre reason! I mean I've written a film and I think it's way better than some of the things I've seen, but do I get any lottery funding? NO!

Rape, revenge is usually quite difficult to get wrong. Even if it does go a bit belly-up it's usually fun and entertaining at least. Actually, the majority of "Straightheads" is quite dull, slow and tedious which is unexpected for its surprisingly short running time of 75 minutes or so. That's about the length of "Inside" and "REC" just think about how much incredible excitement is experienced in those minutes! "Straightheads" sort of failed immediately by being not in the least bit plausible. Would you really ask your slacker camera fitter to go to a party with you? And why would the camera fitter not even question the idea? It starts off weirdly to say the least. When the nasty abuse occurs it's shot in the least effective way with too many clumsy close-ups and basically zero lighting to see what's going on! It also feels quite nasty for the sake of it and doesn't have anywhere near of the directional flair that say, "The Ordeal" expressed during a similar scene.

After this event, you might think that the characters would become a little more likable? They don't, in fact they become even less likable and don't get developed any further either. Am I supposed to like a man who's stoned out of his mind on the sofa, playing weird chav music with porn on his telly? It also doesn't help that Danny Dyer and Gillian Anderson's acting are more wooden than the forest. I felt zero chemistry between the two characters as well, the whole relationship thing was completely unbelievable. Though it wasn't as unbelievable as the pathetic reason given to why the rape occurred!

The film also seems as if it tries to divert from any possible exciting acting that could've actually been quite fun! There's a promising bit where Danny's hiding in the house and one of the men gets a glance at him on the top of the stairs, but nothing really that exciting comes from it! Similarly, there's a part where a daughter runs out the house shouting for her dog which is swiftly avoided with yet another embarrassing sex scene between Danny and Gillian, but don't worry the camera's so clumsy that you can't see a thing!

When the revenge finally does occur (after about an hour of no-suspense building up to it) it's so quick that it feels even more pointless. I don't know if that's what the director's trying to say, that revenge is pointless, but he did it in such a way that it made his whole film pointless! Has he not seen "7 Days" or "I Saw The Devil" which tries to convey the same message in such a gripping and emotional way? (well obviously not because this came out before those two but..) It's also done in a nasty way that just seems like it's trying to shock for the sake of it. It's cringe-worthy and not in a fun "Saw" way, but in a perverted and "why am I watching this?" way!

"Straightheads" does show effective use of direction in the very last minutes but by then it's far too late to care. "Straightheads" is a dull, nasty, implausible, badly written and atrociously directed thriller that thinks it's being way more effective than it is. If you're looking for rip-roaring, emotionally-charged revenge then I would suggest "Kill Bill", "Oldboy", "I Saw The Devil" and other Korean films. Even the remake of "I Spit On Your Grave" is much more intelligent and effective than this. I'd recommend giving this one a miss.
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More thought-provoking than your typical "rape/revenge" fare.
ThrownMuse30 September 2007
A wealthy businesswoman (Gillian Anderson) and her newly acquired working class lover (Danny Dyer) are viciously attacked while on a drive the woods. Afterwards, the only thing the woman can think of is revenge, and she calculates a plan to fulfill that. This is an intriguing modern-day "rape/revenge" thriller that focuses more on psychology and gender (as well as other social constructs) instead of the violence and action sequences that typically go hand-in-hand with the subgenre. That said, rape/revenge fans most likely won't be disappointed with this one, as it's fairly brutal and shocking. It's a little short, clocking in just over 70 minutes, so by the end I thought to myself, "is that all there is?" Yet the film did have something of an impact on me, because I found myself thinking about it all the next day and recommending it to friends. Gillian Anderson is excellent and does things you would never in a million years think you'd see Gillian Anderson do on-screen. I'll leave it at that. Danny Dyer also gives a fantastic dramatic performance. I'm not sure why he gets such a bad rap in the UK. He isn't quite famous in the States yet, but he's great in the few films I've seen him in. Thumbs up on this thought-provoking thriller, though I can't help feeling there's a chunk of the film missing.
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Clever film but not great
Greatornot29 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was a nice film that entertained but it did have its flaws. I liked the irony in the movie. Alarm systems protect on the inside but in the outside world , one is still vulnerable. I also thought it was clever to have the socioeconomic status removed by having a couple of different upbringings and castes being involved and on the same side to try and rectify this situation. It was a good movie to actually show the otherside of the coin. Coming at this from the dilemma of the rapist. The protagonists obsession with bringing down the horrible gang was just .Having the rapist with a sweet daughter was a nice touch as well. I thought the movie cover most of the psychological and social barriers. This movie did show what can happen to 'normal' people when pushed over the edge. Comparisons to STRAW DOGS are fine . Danny Dyers is no Dustin Hoffman. Not that the acting was bad , it just was slightly above par. Gratuitous nudity is always OK with this guy. The movie did not have to show the killing of a dog to get its point across. I also felt the movie was too short. The end was perfect with the birds singing when revenge was finally meted. Life is OK again.
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I'll be STRAIGHT with you...
anxietyresister19 January 2008
To call Straightheads the best Danny Dyer film I've seen is to damn with faint praise. In my humble opinion, the guy cannot act. He just stands there and growls his lines, and you think: how the hell does this guy get plum roles in so many British films? Photogenic he may be, but when it comes to performing, he is never less than completely pants. At least Gillian Anderson is on hand to lend proceedings a touch of class, but the guy is still a millstone hanging around the neck of this thriller/drama.

Alice is a thirty-something worker who is having a security system fitted in her house. She decides to take the 23 year old installer Adam out to a party she is attending, and while there she makes out with him against a tree. On the return journey however, our loving couple make the mistake of angering a van full of psychos in an extreme case of road rage. This ends up in Adam being grievously injured, and Alice being raped. A month later, they are still recovering from the events of the day. But then, Alice finds out the identity of one of the attackers. Adam is quite happy to let sleeping dogs lie, but Alice, armed with this new information wants revenge. And being the daughter of an ex-soldier has distinct advantages...

You'll probably go into this 18 rated film with hopes of experiencing a few nice gory and brutal scenes. In which case, it won't disappoint... their are beating with huge spanners, dogs being shot and unspeakable acts done utilising the point of a huge rifle. OUCH! It doesn't outstay its welcome either, at a meagre running time of just 76 minutes. Hmm, wonder what the deleted scenes were like? However, due to the lack of any sympathetic characters, unbelievable plot developments and the usual Dyer (ha ha) acting by you-know-who I can't quite recommend it. 5/10 it is then. Never mind mate, you'll only improve. Maybe...
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seawalker7 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Gillian Anderson is an arrogant, driven, career woman who picks up working class oik Danny Dyer for a night of fun. After a stupid accident in the countryside, they are brutally attacked. After recovering, and after a chance meeting with one of the attackers, their thoughts turn to that of revenge...

I thought "Straightheads" was terrible. Violent, brutal, misogynistic and unpleasant. If I didn't dislike the phrase a great deal I would call "Straightheads" a video nasty. Certainly it was the kind of film that would have had a no budget release straight to video during the dark days of the 1980's. Frankly I don't know how "Straightheads" got a cinema release.

I am not a prude. I don't mind sex and violence in the movies, but they have to be married to a movie with a) a good plot or b) good characterisation or c) preferably both. "Straightheads" had neither. No progression in the plot or the characters and too much left unexplained and unsaid. Luckily "Straightheads" went nowhere fast. It was only 80 minutes long.

It was a shame, because there was the germ of an interesting film here, with an especially interesting turn in the plot in the last third. How often do I say this, but it could have been good if it had been done properly. What a shame. I really like Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer, but they were on a hiding to nothing with this film. She, especially, is very underrated (and is still particularly fit).

If you want to see a good British revenge movie, rent or buy Shane Meadows' "Dead Man's Shoes". It is a little masterpiece. Last weekend I should have seen his "This Is England" instead. Ce sera sera...
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plasmapilot15 November 2021
This film contains some very disturbing scenes which MAY trigger some sensitive individuals! Overall this production was topnotch, despite the graphic nature of the content. Gillian Anderson's British accent was oddly much better than her appearance in THE FALL six years later! This movie was well done on all levels, but is definitely NOT for the faint of heart! Sometimes what one thinks will get them "closure " will prove that things will never again be the same! Be prepared & forewarned.
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Awful attempt at copying Straw Dogs?
laymonite-223 March 2008
This reminded me SOO much of Michael Winner's crappy 'Dirty Weekend' with it's awful English low budget feel.

Firstly I must say I am a fan of both exploitation and serious film. I appreciate, say, 'Demented' for it's ineptitude and 'Last House on the Left' for it's sheer unashamed brutality. And any number of inventive and increasingly brutal Italian spin offs.

This was just pointless though. Kind of like a British budget director thought 'let's remake "I Spit on your Grave" without making it too harrowing now that horror is back in fashion with Hostel.

The whole thing just doesn't hang together or have a point. What's with the rapists's daughter? Why bother having the man be an expert in security cameras? Crappy.
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Unrewarding And Empty.
Mr_Saxon27 September 2007
When Alice (Gillian Anderson), a middle-class businesswoman, meets Adam (Danny Dyer) a working-class surveillance expert, she invites him to a party. Thus begins a night that neither will ever forget. After encountering a group of locals on a country road, a shocking incident takes place that sees Adam lose an eye whilst Alice is brutally raped. Several weeks later, Alice crosses paths with one of their attackers...

I had heard a lot about this movie, although most of what I'd heard revolved around a scene near the end of the film involving Anderson's use of a gun barrel. For the most part, the violence in this movie was implied rather than shown. The rape itself is disturbing although we are treated to not just one showing of it but two (the second time, it is shown through the eyes of Anderson's attacker). This seemed slightly gratuitous to me.

Both of the main leads turn in great performances with special praise going out to Gillian Anderson. In all of the years watching "The X-Files" I never quite imagined that I'd see her in as powerful a role as this. It seems a shame then that they don't have any chemistry together. They just weren't convincing as two people who fell in lust with one another in the space of a few hours.

After the horror of the first act, the movie doesn't seem to know what to do with itself. We see the two victims planning their revenge (initiated by an extraordinary coincidence) and trying to come to terms with what has happened to them. However, there isn't really any substance to these scenes. Their planning of revenge simply consists of creeping around spying on their attackers, and the scenes in which they try to deal with their anguish don't work either as both characters aren't given enough depth for us to care about them.

The final scenes seem to come out of nowhere and are carried out in such a way that they're not satisfying to the audience. One of the bad guys suddenly gives a sympathetic story about why he did what he did - are we now meant to agree he had no other choice? One of the victims suddenly feels regret about what is happening to the attackers. Are we supposed to now feel the same? If there is an intended message, it isn't at all clear.

Ultimately this movie is a hollow experience. It doesn't engage the audience as it should and doesn't appear to know what exactly it's trying to say.
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starts out slow, but gets a little better
dustinhunter70721 September 2007
I thought this movie started out kind of slow because it was just random sex and nudity and then a brutal attack and nothing happened for like 30 minutes. But then it started to get better about 50 minutes into the movie because things start to happen that are relatively entertaining, but some of the scenes are really unnecessary at times. Altogether I give this a 6 out of 10 because it started slow but got a little better and it had a solid ending too. I wouldn't recommend it, but if u want to see a thriller and your bored, then go ahead and give it a chance because Gillian Anderson pulls off a pretty good performance as a victim out for revenge.
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