COMEDOWN

2.5 out of 10

Release Date: 15th March 2013 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Menhaj Huda (Everywhere + Nowhere / Kidulthood)

Cast: Jacob Anderson, Jessica Barden, Calum MacNab, Duane Henry, Sophie Stuckey with Adam Deacon and Geoff Bell

Writer: Steve Kendall

Trailer: COMEDOWN

The biggest disappointment in Comedown is Adam Deacon‘s truly terrible performance. After good turns in Anuvahood, Everywhere + Nowhere, Victim and Outside Bet he reverts to the over the top, mouthy dick head characters that established him as one-to-watch in Kidulthood and Adulthood. But those films are old now. And in those films his character was in context. In Comedown he has all the character shading as Bugs Bunny, only uglier and mouthier.

The other main disappointment is that great production values and the sinister look of the movie go to waste on a plot that is as standard and as unthrilling as a thriller can be allowed.  Several kids venture into a derelict high rise housing block to assemble an aerial for a local pirate radio station.  The only problem is they get locked in and picked off gruesomely by a mysterious, faceless creature / man / ghost? Borrrring!  Yes, the film just plods along as each of the disposable yet annoying pricks get murdered in supposedly creative ways.

Among the cast are a few actors who should have known better than to give this project the swerve. We’ve got Jacob Anderson (OFFENDER), who popped up in the equally dopey but slightly better Demons Never Die, as the gang leader. We also have talented newcomer Jessica Barden (IN THE DARK HALF) who has been so good in other movies, wasted here as a tart with an inexplicable Devonshire accent.  Anderson’s heavily pregnant girlfriend (yes it’s her that gets taken hostage!) Sophie Stuckey (THE DARK) just gets to beg for her life and cry hysterically and the group is made of up of plank Callum MacNab (OUTSIDE BET), slow coach, man child Duane Henry and said motormouth douchebag Adam Deacon.

The big bad just gets to stalk around in a rain mac and put the end to most of the above’s pointless lives.  This is done to zero scary of thrilling effect. This is surprising because a lot of money has been spent on making the film “look” and “sound” great. It’s just a shame it’s such a dull and empty experience.  The ending has some original points to make about surviving ordeals like they’ve lived through. I mean how do you explain away the carnage if you’re a good for nothing dirt bag with no future, who’s already known to the police?

2.5 out of 10 – A good feel for place and sound elevates the whole film above the bottom of the pile. But the acting is OK to terrible and the plot is very very boring. Being a slasher flick that’s inexcusable I’m afraid.

READ JOE PESCI II’s REVIEW – Down….Below! 

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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One thought on “COMEDOWN

  1. Check out Joe Pesci II’s review!!

    COMEDOWN

    The British tower block killer thriller subgenre is now a reality. Following the pioneering work of DREDD, TOWER BLOCK and ATTACK THE BLOCK, we now have COMEDOWN, in which a bunch of teens get stuck in a tower block and get killed one by one. Don’t go away yet! I want to spend a few hundred more words explaining why you should avoid this drivel.

    This week’s teens and twentysomethings are a particularly unlovely / boring bunch. There’s Adam Deacon as an annoying berk. There’s an ex-con who has seen the error of his ways and wants to do right by his girl and their unborn child. (Yes! A pregnant lady in a horror film – I wonder if she’ll be placed in peril – I shall return to this later.) There’s the dim one (the only vaguely likeable one here). There’s a Devonian sket (see, these films are teaching me the vocabulary of the streets – see my review of SKET for further information). And then there’s a chap with a charisma vacuum so immense that he can be defined by his one action. (Actually there may be others, but I’ve forgotten them, much as I’ve pretty much forgotten this tedious little film – in fact, much in this review may well be invented by my memory desperate to make it more interesting than it was). Anyway back to charisma-vacuum-boy. It is one of the tropes of tragedy that a character has a flaw, by which he will be destroyed: Hamlet’s indecision allows Claudius and Laertes to conspire against him, Oedipus’ arrogant self-belief leads him to find the terrible truth of his birth. Here, charisma-vacuum-boy’s death by flame (look out – there be SPOILERS here) is a replication of his own crime. He has a throwaway line early on about terrorising a caretaker out of some place which isn’t the tower block, succeeding by setting fire to his pigeons. Now, in the derelict tower block, someone is killing the trespassing kids! Could it be the caretaker? Of course it is. And guess what! He kills charisma-vacuum-boy with fire, leaving charisma-vacuum-boy flapping about like a burning pigeon. You can see the problem with here. Our sympathy (or at least mine) is not with the pesky kids, who seem to be a particularly foul bunch who pretty much deserve their fate. So how can the film-makers possibly make the villain suitably unsympathetic? And why are these lamebrains in a derelict (but maniac-infested) tower block in the first place? Well, they’ve been tasked with putting an aerial up for a pirate radio station. Yes, in the annals of horror history that has to be one of the weakest set-ups devised. Still it gets the enervating gang into the tower block and that little bit nearer to their violent deaths, so I’m not complaining.

    What I will complain about though, in my best Daily Mail way, is Pregnant Woman Syndrome. Maybe you’re lucky, and haven’t seen BASMENT, DEAD CERT, CUT, DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, or DEMONS NEVER DIE. All pretty poor films, all of which place a pregnant woman in peril (and generally kill her). There is something about this which I find disturbing. It seems to be a lazy way of trying to generate sympathy for unsympathetic characters, and a lazy way to show that the villains involved are very, very villainous and not nice. But I can’t help thinking that the men who made these films were trying to think of something that would make their films seem hard. Well, what could possibly be harder than killing unborn babies? GROW UP! Write proper characters! Stop pretending that you’re challenging taboos! Or if you want to shock, don’t do something that at least five other films have done in the last three years!

    There, soapbox bit done, on with the review. Geoff Bell turns up as The Tenant (i.e. the killer) but the way this is filmed they could just as easily have used the first bloke to walk past the set that day. Actually, they probably did, it just happened to be Geoff Bell. Elsewhere Adam Deacon is awful; most of the rest of the actors are bland beyond imagining.

    But there is a bit I was very pleased with. Usually these films end with the survivors coughing, spluttering and stumbling into the safety of day and into the beneficent arms of an authority figure who will tidy everything up as the camera pulls back to view the skyline, mirroring the audience standing to leave the cinema. SPOILER ALERT! This does not happen! The authorities aren’t as gullible as American cops usually are after 105 minutes (‘yes Miss Jolie/Diaz/Witherspoon, we believe your story that you are the sole survivor of a serial killer whose remains have been eviscerated and of whom no trace exists apart from the trail of bodies which we spent most of the film suspecting you of responsibility for but we’ll believe you because everyone’s had enough and besides anything else would be for the sequel and by the way here’s your dead dog which has been miraculously resurrected due to the demands of preview audiences; and there’s the man you love / met an hour ago who’s been about as useful as a chocolate teapot in your hour of need and gee I hope he doesn’t smile creepily behind your back when you guys embrace’). No, the British police read the situation and act accordingly (naturally getting it wrong) which makes for a nice enough coda which gets inevitably spoiled with a rubbish twist. (The killer’s not dead!)

    COMEDOWN lacks originality, characterisation, story, tension, plausibility, empathy, comedy and invention. A depressing waste.

    I would however like to applaud the BBFC’s decision to award this film a 15 certificate – it really should be an 18 but the BBFC clearly realised that to do that would be to draw attention to the film, and that the best thing to do would be to bury it with a 15. I hope that’s what they were thinking anyway…

    2 out of 10

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