This surprised me by batting way above my expectations. Although a few small elements finger its origins as a moderately low budget thriller (they never show or explain HOW Alice is kidnapped, just show her getting stuffed into a van, which struck me as a great way to get around a thorny script problem), the vast majority of the film is a very tautly held tension thriller.
Alice is played with great bravery by Gemma Arterton, going through abduction, nudity, and various other humiliations for the role. Her character is excellently convincing as remarkably normal, and she pulls off all of the scenes with great aplomb, regardless of whether they're anger or emotion. Young actor Martin Compston is also surprisingly good as the younger of the kidnapping duo, 'Danny', playing a role that requires him to shift emotions and behaviour in some pretty radical directions. Delivering just the right mix of insolence, uncertainty and fear, he's extremely good. Eddie Marsan plays the older and more frighteningly unpredictable of the kidnappers - a man with a violent past and some clear aggression issues. Never a fan of him in the past, I was glad to see this is his best performance to date, playing his role terrifically. The whole film is a 3-hander, relying on the leads playing against each other in a small selection of locations, the main one being the flat they've so meticulously soundproofed and fortified at the beginning. With superb performances like this, I didn't notice the numbers, and was in fact extremely surprised when the cast list rolled past and I realised they'd carried off the whole movie without having any need for anybody else. That, I think above all else, is a sign of just how well it's been done. There are a lot of moments of real tension and panic, some believable mind games, and some very effective twists. On the basis of this blisteringly good little movie, director J Blakeson should have a bright future ahead of him.