Director: Ciarán Foy
Writer: Ciarán Foy
Stars: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Wunmi Mosaku
Another in the ‘tower block terror’ sub-strand of films (see also Tower Block, The Raid, Attack on the Block), an off-shoot of the ‘hoodie horror’ movies which seem primarily composed to work up writers for The Guardian into a state of apoplexy. This one features Aneurin Barnard as a young man who is left holding a baby and nursing a serious case of agoraphobia, living in a council house in the shadow of the very same tower block where his wife was attacked and killed by a gang of unseen kids. What’s more, these kids seem to want his baby, and attack his house, pursue him through the shadowy streets and group in mass near the infrequently serviced bus stops which are the only way out of the estate. But who are these kids? Are they the products of a damaged society, as the local social worker (Wunmi Mosaku) believes? Or are they some kind of supernatural, mutated demons, as is suggested by a nutty priest (James Cosmo)?
This is really a very good little movie: the performances are good; first time director Ciaran Foy handles the material very well and it has a suitably sinister look. The protagonist is more interesting than usual, and it has interesting things to say on the after effects of random violence and the links between the environment and gang culture (and the fear that parents have that they can do little to prevent their children from drifting into thuggery). There’s more going on here than appears on the surface, and the critics who accused it of, for instance, ‘a reactionary tone’ (The Guardian, inevitably), have rather missed the point.