In England, the teacher of the Wittering College Robert Anderson is hit in the face by a student and is forced to take three months vacation to avoid being sued by the parents of the student. Robert is affected by the incident and a couple of months later, he is emotionally disturbed, alcoholic and separated of his wife Helen. Their daughter Kate lives with her mother and has classes with Robert, but she does not respect her father. The principal of Wittering College, Sarah Balham (Ruth Gemmell), loathes Robert and wants to get rid of him, but the Union does not allow her to fire him. When Robert reads about violence in another school, he sends a memo advising the employees of the school and he is considered paranoid and delusional by everybody. One day after hours, Robert notes some strange movements outside the school and he advises the security guard James that does not give much attention to the discredited Robert. But sooner Robert realizes that the Wittering College is under ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
At one point, this was going to be a UK/ US co-production with a considerably larger budget. However, Johannes Roberts turned the US money down in order to retain personal control over his project. See more »
I know that there is no golden rule saying that all characters in a scary film must be likable, but I think that it really helps one's overall enjoyment of a horror if there are at least a few people to identify with or root for; similarly, there's nothing to say that indiscriminate on-screen carnage needs to be justified, but it's quite nice to be given a motive for such behaviour.
F, from director Johannes Roberts, features almost no-one worth caring about and offers little explanation for its random killings, making it a very frustrating watch—a shame, because the basic set up has plenty of potential and Roberts shows a lot of promise with his handling of the visuals, making great use of his surprisingly creepy setting, a secondary school after hours.
Things go wrong almost immediately with the introduction of the film's central character, teacher Robert Anderson (David Schofield), who loses the viewer's sympathy with his insensitive and very unprofessional classroom manner, belittling his less able students in front of the whole class (and quite deservedly getting a head-butt for his troubles). We then get to meet Anderson's bitchy superior Sarah (Ruth Gemmell), his wayward daughter Kate (Eliza Bennett) and her douche of a boyfriend Jake (Max Fowler), and the world's most useless security guard, James (Finlay Robertson). So many horrible people in one building...
The killers in this film—faceless 'hoodies' who understandably have issues with Anderson, but who for some reason also vent their rage on less deserving members of staff and their own peers—prowl the corridors of the school like wild animals, quite literally at times, silently scaling furniture and shelving to pounce on their quarry; I understand that Roberts wanted his killers to appear predatory, but he takes it just a bit too far—I've seen ninjas less stealthy than these kids. It's all a bit hard to take seriously at times.
The dark locale does allow for quite a bit of tension, the odd shock, and some occasional gore, with the death of F's only really amiable character, hot teacher Nicky (Roxanne McKee), being particularly nasty, but as a whole it is a very flawed film, the inconclusive and unsatisfying ending being the final straw.
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