Film Review: "The Disappearance of Alice Creed"

Vic and Danny (Marsan and Compston), two ex-convicts looking for a big score, transform their apartment into a fortress/dungeon. After kidnapping a young lady named Alice (Arterton), things take a turn for the worse as more of their plot is revealed. A small, tense British thriller.

With only three characters and maybe five locations, this is a very intimate film, but first-time director Blakeson does a lot with so little. The mood and atmosphere are solid and menacing, and the kidnapping/ransom plot is interestingly handled. Much of the dealing and negotiating is handled by Vic outside the apartment, leaving us to focus on the relationships and dynamics between the three, which are the most surprising and engrossing parts of the film. The cast is very capable, with Compston as the nervous newcomer who provides a few bits of needed comic relief, and Marsan as the hardened pro (and also part of the British version of "Hey, it's that one guy..."). Arterton really shines in her meatiest role yet, proving she can be more than just a pretty face. Some well-executed twists help round out a very solid directorial debut. An import that's worth a watch.

 

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