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Gatecrash

5/10

Stars: Olivia Bonamy, Ben Cura, Anton Lesser, Samuel West

Director: Lawrence Gough

This is the kind of film where the writers have more fun with the dialogue than the viewer watching their film. You can imagine the three scripters (including the director) chuckling over lines in their adaptation of Terry Hughes' play (it could almost be a radio play) as their artificial, enigmatic script attempts to keep its audience guessing.

The result is a slow, bloodsoaked chiller whose gaping plotholes can't really be discussed here without giving away too much of the story's developments.

Suffice, then, to say that, in Act One, we meet dislikable, quarrelsome couple Steve (Cura) and Nicole (Bonamy), who have run over an elderly man on the way home from a party. They may even have driven back over him before fleeing to their remote country home.

Here, fights soon break out over what has happened and the possible consequences. Steve beats his wife up and tells her 'What was he doing, walking out into the middle of the road? He deserved what he got'. Their battle is interrupted by a ring at the front door. It's a policeman (West), but this is no ordinary cop; he says things you wouldn't expect a cop to say, talks about a prowler at large, and demands to look around the house. This result in more (and more bloody) violence.

Act Two takes place a year later, after Nicole has had a baby. The couple receives another unexpected visitor (Lesser, the superintendent from TV's Endeavour): a quizzical, 60something little man...

The four-person cast all deliver solid performances, even though many scenes are irritatingly prolonged in attempts at suspense - and, though things take a while to get going, the climax does offer enough action to satisfy some fans of such late-night thrillers.

Digital platforms from 22 February

David Quinlan

UK 2019. UK Distributor: Bird Box (Goldfinch). Colour by Panalux.
86 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 19 Feb 2021