Top critical review
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Brutal, brave and challenging vengeance thriller
on 7 August 2010
Not for weak stomachs, this is a deliberately challenging and harsh 'eye for an eye' picture. Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer make for an intruiging couple as Alice and Adam. She's a high flyer. He fits TVs. But when she invites him on a date to a lavish country house party, and the two end up getting together, it looks like things couldn't go much better.
They couldn't. It's horrendously downhill from there as they offend a local driver and he decides to set his psychotic friends on them in order to keep their predatory attentions away from his own daughter.
Suddenly Adam and Alice find their night going to hell, as Adam is savagely beaten half to death, and Alice is gang raped.
Recovering back in her lavish flat, it looks as if the couple might manage to put the events behind them, until Alice runs across knowledge of where the attackers live, and realises that she can't let go...worse, that she needs revenge and won't rest until she's got it...
This turns into a very harsh and challenging film of conflicting goals, tested morals, and a study of how far people can go when driven by rage.
As Adam and Alice close in on their prey, it's obvious that maybe their sanity is cracking along with their bonds.
It's a highly dramatic film. Gillian Anderson is superb as Alice, and Danny Dyer is more serious, less cheeky chappy than usual. As a result they make a fascinating pairing of age difference and culture clash. There's also friction about just how far they should go, which is acted believably and feels very realistic.
The ending, when it comes, is a violent, traumatic and emotionally cathartic climax that is hard to watch but also not unexpected. What is unexpected is the way the different characters react. It's brutal and bleak, and emotionally draining, and you may feel a little uncomfortable afterwards. But any harsh exploitation film that's trying to make an important point should perhaps make you feel that way.