Customer Review

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Night of the Living Dead Chavs, 7 Jan 2011
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This review is from: F [DVD] (DVD)
Britain isn't a happy place these days. Lack of money, lack of job security, a Government nobody likes (even the people who voted for them), riots, two inches of snow bringing the country to a halt, flu, crime, Simon Cowell...take your pick of issues to depress you. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone to blame for the state of things? Or if not to blame, then at least to have a go at. So step forward, British Youth. Maligned by the press, portrayed on BBC3 and E4 as idiots, they don't have a great image. Whether the makers of F believe this or not, I'm not too fussed. This isn't an indictment of a whole section of British culture; this is the story of a man who wants to do his best in his job and as a father, but is brought down by the people he wants to help as well as his own weaknesses.

David Schofield plays Robert Anderson, a middle aged teacher at a North London school. His teenage daughter Kate is in his class as is a fat chav who doesn't react well to being given an F for an essay. When Anderson gives the chav a belittling or a bit of fairly standard teacher banter (depending how you see it - I heard pretty much the same stuff back in my school days) in front of the class, the chav nuts him. Anderson's faith in his abilities, in his students and in the school system is more or less destroyed by this one act. The Head and the governors are more concerned with avoiding legal action from the boy's parents as well as avoiding finding fault with anyone while Anderson is unable to return to the man and teacher he was. Several months later, his wife has left him, his daughter thinks he's a loser and his colleagues know he's drinking too much. Placing his daughter in detention simply to spend time with her, Anderson doesn't know things are about to get much worse in the shape of silent hoodies who have come to lay siege to the school.

There are definite positives and negatives to F. The downsides first: a few gaps in logic grate (are the hoodies supposed to be chav ninjas? They barely make a sound even when jumping from cupboard to floor), people say `is anyone there?' far too often, and the makers have obviously watched early John Carpenter films and well as the French horror Them several times. While I wouldn't personally call it a negative, some viewers may find the odd aspect of F unsatisfying although to say what exactly would be to spoil it. Similarly, there's not as much on screen gore and violence as some might expect or want. That's not to say this isn't unpleasant. Two scenes, one featuring a locked bin and the other the aftermath of a beating, are particularly aggressive and painful. Overall, this more to do with the threat of violence than outright violence. Put it this way, if the film didn't feature hoodies with knives, this would probably be a 15 rather than an 18.

The positives - it's refreshing for a film like this to not focus on the lead turning into an action hero, and it also doesn't shy away from portraying the adults as part of the problem. Whether they're unwilling to tell a teenage boy that hitting a teacher is wrong or too eager to think children are blameless, they're to some extent at fault for creating a system that doesn't work. Schofield gives a good, solid performance in the lead role and while the other actors aren't given much to do, they portray their growing fear well enough. There are some problems with the script and the film's logic which could have been worked on but I can forgive most of these issues. F is, for the most part, a decent British horror/thriller which may alienate some with its bleak tone and flaws, but I still suggest you give it a watch.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jan 2011 08:25:45 GMT
How does this film justify 4 Stars? I think One Star is being generous for this complete no brainer trash with no plot and silly staff fodder only in the film just to make up killed numbers. Was there even a real reason why the hoodies decide to kill everyone in a school once its already closed including students ?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2011 09:01:54 GMT
P. Lee says:
This film can be watched on two levels: one, as a straight forward stalk 'n' slash film, and secondly, as an interesting portrait of a man having a breakdown of sorts. Without giving anything away for those who haven't seen it, there is a very deliberate ambiguity, which you seem to have completely missed. There is a tangible subtext going on here, which makes the film all the more interesting than just another slasher.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2011 09:18:03 GMT
seun says:
So you didn't like it, then?

Posted on 11 Jan 2011 11:05:42 GMT
The Truth says:
Good review... unless of course the film turns out to be complete Sh*t when I watch it.

Still - 1 positive vote from me.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2011 11:19:41 GMT
seun says:
Cheers. F won't be a film for everyone (as Mr Goldup has pointed out). I don't think it's perfect but I do think it's reasonably well done and worth watching.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2011 14:38:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jan 2011 14:43:29 GMT
Yere Sorry about, Maybe im getting more fussy with movies these days and I think its so important to have some kind of plot and explanation to a story or even a story at all. Any director can manage the stalk and slash part and blood but creating scares, plot and atmosphere is something this lacked on a massive scale. On the bright side I will glady sell you my copy for 5 if you want lol

Good Review by you though Seun, maybe you should be a reviewer for Empire Magazine or Total Film. You also hit the nail on the head with the rating system, definately should have been a 15 and not a 18.

Posted on 3 May 2011 15:09:31 BDT
I thought you analysed this film brilliantly, im at the moment doing a paper at university based on hoodie horror and film and found your review very compelling and interesting. The director Johannes Roberts was supposed to give a lecture and screen 'F' but he cancelled an hour before he was meant to give it apparently he had a interview with Universal pictures executives. We werent very happy that he did not attend, but we watched the film and found it rather compelling but for hoodie horrors it still think the film Eden Lake portrays peoples fears with hoodies than F does, F was ruined by the way that the killers could run park-core all over the place. Great Introduction and Great review!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2011 15:38:15 BDT
seun says:
Cheers. Glad you liked it. Not seen Eden Lake so I'll have to give it a watch.
Good luck with your paper.

Posted on 25 Aug 2011 09:31:11 BDT
Can anyone please look up if this blu ray has englisch subtitles?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2012 15:11:46 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 30 Mar 2013 09:41:15 GMT]
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