Monday, July 19, 2010

Fantasia 2010: The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2010)

This is the fifth film review in the coverage of Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival. With all the abduction thrillers out there, The Disappearance of Alice Creed can be considered as a pretty basic film that took all the good elements of the thriller handbook. Nonetheless, it's definitely a worth watching film if you just want to satisfy your curiosity. Period.

Two men (Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan) fortify an appartment and soundproof its bedroom so that it can be used to lock a hostage. Afterwards, they head to an unidentified British suburb, abduct Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), the daughter of a millionnaire and tie her on the bed of the apartment's bedroom. Obviously, the two men's objective is to have Alice's father pay them a ransom of two million Sterling pounds. While she's intimidated at first, Alice decides to make her kidnappers' plan go awry by fighting them.

Obviously, The Disappearance of Alice Creed combines two of the most essential ingredients of a film about kidnapping: 1) moments when the abductee (Alice in this case) nearly manages to escape and 2) a few plot twists. However, while the film is quite entertaining, it's very likely to divide the audience, because it's hard to decide how to react after we had seen the film's plot twists. Given that these plot twists are references by the two kidnappers to their original plan and that they've been witheld from viewers from the beginning, one might wonder if these plot twists are cheap shots. I personally thought that these plot twists fitted in the story, because Martin Compston's and Eddie Marsan's performance, from the beginning to the end, makes these surprises somehow believable.

Despite that, The Disappearance of Alice Creed is an entertaining film and it's really well acted. While Gemma Arterton never overacts in her part, the most surprising actor in the cast is definitely Eddie Marsan. As Vic, Marsan pulls out a performances that makes you believe that he's one tough guy you just don't want to mess with.

Finally, despite having plot twists that might divide the public, The Disappearance of Alice Creed remains a decently executed film and also an entertaining one. While it doesn't renew the genre of abduction thrillers by blending other genres like Twisted Seduction, The Disappearance of Alice Creed hopefully has a leg to stand on. In fact, the most enjoyable moments are definitely the ones when Alice and each of her two kidnappers psychologically confront each other.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:UK (2010)
Length:100 minutes
Screenplay:J Blakeson
Director:J Blakeson
Starring:Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan

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