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Hard Tide


Stars: Nathanael Wiseman, Oliver Stark, Alexandra Newick, Mem Ferda, Kat Gellin, Andy Lucas, Beverly Hills, Ralph Brown

Director: Robert Osman, Nathanael Wiseman

This is an interesting little independent venture, in that its characters get more human and sympathetic as the film goes on. In the first reel or two, this doesn't seem to have much going for it: Jake (Wiseman)and his friend Alfie (Stark) are small-time drug pushers in a rundown seaside town (the film was shot in Margate and Ramsgate); aggressive, hard-cursing characters, they are no strangers to violence and involved with a rather bigger crook (Ferda), whose flower shop includes guns and drugs in its stock.

Becoming involuntarily innvolved with a nine-year-old girl (Newick), Jake lets her into her home, to find her father, who is drunk asleep, waking up, rushing at him and accidentally dying after a fall.

Panicking, Jake flees with the girl, giving her a day out at the beach, then taking her to his flat, where she rouses from sleep, just as Jake and his girlfriend (Gellin) are having sex. The girl's subsequent accidental overdose triggers a violent conclusion, although it isn't really clear why Ferda wants her so badly.

Decent performances eventually emerge from the storm of swearing, with Wiseman, who also co-directed, becoming a jack-the-lad whose fate we do care about. No masterpiece, then, but a commendable job on a minuscule budget.

David Quinlan

UK 2015. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour by Panalux.
79 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 27 Apr 2016