Cherry Tree Lane ★★

"Shut up you fucking skank!"
-Rian (Jumayn Hunter) [P.S. Yes, the script really is that good!]

Cherry Tree Lane follows the trials and tribulations of a well-to-do British couple who are terrorised by a gang of hoodlums looking for their son, who has got mixed up with the wrong sort. The basic premise walks down an already well-beaten path, and this entry simply does nothing to differentiate itself from similarly themed films. It’s not as brutal as Funny Games or Mother’s Day, not as tense as Kidnapped [Secuestrados] (2010), and just generally comes across as a poor imitation of all three.

The acting from the cast is average at best, but hardly anything special. This is only further hampered by horribly clichéd characters, both protagonists and antagonists, and a truly dire screenplay. The lead ‘chav’ is a despicable, nasty piece of work, but it often just borders upon ridiculousness. The couple extract next to no real sympathy from the audience due to null and void character development. Unlike the aforementioned home invasion flicks, which rely on distressing realism to create the suspense, this film stretches believability to such degrees that all it’s intensity is swiftly lost.
Perhaps the film’s greatest undoing is a truly awful script, which literally just comprises of as many f-bombs and ‘skank’s the writer could throw into the putrid brew. Whilst I have no protests against swearing within film, it should be used, at the very least, in compliance with a good script. Hell, GoodFellas had a shitload of swearies in, but was still intelligently written. No excuse.

Director Paul Andrew Williams obviously tries to create a raw, shocking ordeal reflecting the dread of modern society toward these gangs, but instead of intelligently exploring the theme he produces an un-engaging movie with no complexity, no creativity and absolutely no charm. The highlight of the movie has to be the father running around with some blunt instrument caving in the heads of anyone and everyone in his path. Otherwise, this is a poor uninteresting entry that could have been watchable, if only it had some brains to it.

VERDICT; A weak film severely lacking in suspense, terror or even comprehensible dialogue. Its potential is discarded along with its dread and intellect. Avoid this and watch one of the better home invasion flicks.
2/5 or 4/10

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