All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Where is Alice Creed?
A rich man's daughter is held captive in an abandoned apartment by two former convicts who abducted her and hold her ransom in exchange for her father's money.
I'm actually a bit surprised that The Disappearance of Alice Creed is not in fact based on a play, so theatrical is its sensibility. More, I'm surprised it wasn't a play from the 60s or 70s, as it feels like some fantasy collaboration between Anthony Shaffer and Harold Pinter, with a few suggestions from Joe Orton thrown in to shock the audience. It's a great credit therefore to writer and director J Blakeson that his full feature directorial debut can not only recall such greats but play only to the strengths, avoiding the pitfalls, of the three hander constraints and styles of the very best theatre, as well as managing the sleight of hand to make a film whose limited…
When The Disappearance of Alice Creed was released in 2009 I completely wrote it off. The title suggested it was just another in the pile of shitty horror movies that come out each year. I love horror, but good new films in the genre are few and far between. I don't think I even thought about this film again until I joined Letterboxd in April of 2012. I read some reviews for it that not only suggested I may have been wrong about it's quality but also it's genre. As it turns out The Disappearance of Alice Creed isn't a horror film at all. It's a crime/thriller that features only three actors and it's surprisingly good. Director J Blakeson making…
I can really respect filmmakers that try to do something that is a bit different and attempt to surprise their audiences. For the better part of this film I thought they had succeeded pretty well. Up until the final act that is.
This film has a fantastic opening. It's crisp, fast and immediately sets the tone. It actually improves upon the opening by unfolding a story full of lovely surprises and twists. I was thoroughly entertained and hopeful that it would keep this up.
That, unfortunately did not happen. They make two mistakes. They never invest in the characters, so by default, neither do we. They also completely overplay their hand and fall into the trap so many other films fall into as well. Too much unpredictability becomes predictable. Which in this case robbed the ending of any impact whatsoever.
It is still worth a watch, but it is a huge shame this film entirely kills its own potential.
'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' opens with scary and cold efficiency. Two men stridently go about a mission that isn't immediately clear. They line the back of their van with plastic, then go shopping for a drill, a mattress and other tools that, for a while give indications that they are building a house - or maybe a bathroom like the one in 'Saw'. They enter a small flat where they assemble a bed that they nail to the floor and then add padding to the walls. They also kidnap a young girl and drag her kicking and screaming to the flat and tie her securely to that bed.
The girl, Alice (Gemma Arterton), is told that she's being held…
I must admit I have a bit of a soft spot for Gemma Arterton. Mainly from Bond but also from Tamara Drewe. I think a lot of her Hollywood output has not enabled her to showcase her skills. The Disappearance of Alice Creed however is a stunning performance from an actress whose potential remains untapped in the USA. Don't be fooled by the plummy accent, her dedication to the acting craft and adoption of method acting for Alice Creed shows she's eager to push on and become a real big star. Based on this, she's totally ready. Kinda sad this was three years back and she's still not getting choice roles stateside.
Another reviewer, Mr Mark C, noted that Alice…
Watched in September 2010
Simply amazing film about the kidnapping of a young woman by two men who demand a huge ransom from her wealthy father. The film opens with the two men making arrangements, soundproofing rooms for instance before the woman is taken and placed in a room. The early scenes of her when she is first in the room are quite confronting, she conveys the terror one would feel with great realism.
The film progresses with a nice pace, wasting no time in moving towards the end result of having money traded for the woman. Leading up to this we are thrown about by twist after twist, some a little expected, but there is one which blew me…
This is a very familiar movie plot-wise. Fans of the suspense/thriller genre will have essentially seen all of this before and while the acting is good by the movie's veteran, Gemma and the young kid try to keep up and despite some over-acting at times, do a pretty good job. There are some twists and turns along the way, but they are mostly created for plot convenience because some of the actions taken by the characters are borderline-idiotic most times. The ending left me more frustrated than relieved as it seemed to be going for a bittersweet ending yet the stupidity of everyone involved left me thinking they deserved their fate. Mixed reactions aside, fans of the genre may be left satisfied so enter at your own risk.
Nasty, well acted, fairly suspenseful, and overall thriller.
Clever and well acted. Didn't notice at all that there were only three actors involved. L
Minimalist films are some of the riskiest to pull off. With a tiny cast and a tightly controlled narrative, a single misstep can throw the entire enterprise off-balance. However, The Disappearance of Alice Creed took the risk, and it pays off brilliantly.
What makes the film work is that it is structured very similarly to a theatrical play, carefully introducing its pieces and containing itself within mostly a single location that the audience becomes intimately familiar with. There is no spectacle here, but rather a very insular experience that takes its time to tell its story. While it may be obvious that not everything is as it seems at first, the way the plot unravels itself contains some genuine surprises…
Highly enjoyable twisty turny crime romp, almost Hitchcockian in it's simplicity. No special effects, no fancy sets - just a good plot, script, and cast. With only three actors in the entire film, it's unfair to single one out, but Eddie Marsan, as always, put in a superb turn.
So boring and so slow.
Nothing really happens.
Strong performances from all three of the cast, plenty of tension crammed into a short run time and an avoidance of the usual Brit crime cliches make this a gripping kidnap drama.
3-person movie about a kidnapping. Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan are the kidnappers and Gemma Arterton is the victim. A nice setup begins to go wrong as trust begins to deteriorate. Some pretty intense scenes. Gemma does a bang-up job, she genuinely looks terrified at times. A nice twist at the end. The suspense is ratcheted up throughout. I really enjoyed this. The song at the end of the movie by Cathy Davey, "Holy Moly" is excellent.
Preserving this list for posterity as it will disappear from here:
- after number 70, "In a Land…