- Belko Experiment, The
- Finding Fatimah
- Free Fire
- Their Finest
- Fast & Furious 8
- Hatton Garden Job, The
- Boss Baby, The (3D)
- Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
- Lost City of Z, The
- City of Tiny Lights
- Quiet Passion, A
- Void, The
- Man Down
- Ghost in the Shell (3D)
- Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang
- Don't Knock Twice
Stars: Killian Scott, John Bradley, Nika McGuigan, Peter O'Meara, Tom Davis, Barry Keoghan
Director: Rachael Moriarty, Peter Murphy
The central concept of this Irish drama-thriller is so far-fetched that it severely damages the impact of an otherwise well-made, if low-budget film. Lead Scott is just taciturn but his co-star, the chubby, cherubic Bradley, is both annoying and compelling at the same time.
The basic idea puts us off from the start: encouraged by a rash of 'econocides', suicides fuelled by the collapse of a giant company, the nerdy Vernon (Bradley), another of the disenfranchised ex-employees, invents an internet 'game' called Trading.
As he explains it to ex-colleague Harry Fox (Scott), who has a new low-paid job and is struggling with his mortgage, 'one person empties their bank account and sells any expensive stuff they may have and converts it into cash. A second person does the same, with the same resulting amount. They go to somewhere remote, write suicide notes, dig a grave and fight to the death. Winner takes all.' And you would double your money with each successive trade - if you stayed alive.
I couldn't see the logic of this. If you had several thousand pounds/euros, why would you risk it on a bleak and miserable death battle with someone with the same amount of cash?
However, to its credit, the film takes the idea and runs with it, right down to a corpse-strewn finale that would do Hamlet proud. The fights are suitably desperate, and there's an interlude with a girl (McGuigan) just to lighten the mood a little, which washed-out colour has done little to help.
Ireland 2015. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour (unspecified).
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.
Review date: 30 Jul 2016