Film Reviews, News & Competitions

 
 


The Ones Below

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: A couple expecting their first child discover an an unnerving difference between themselves and the couple living in the flat below them who are also having a baby.
Release Date: Monday 4th July 2016
Format: DVD
Director(s): David Farr
Cast: Clémence Poésy, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn, David Morrissey
BBFC Certificate: 15
Running Time: 1hr 26mins
Country Of Origin: UK
Review By: Alex Moss
Genre: ,
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


 

Bottom Line


The Ones Below is the sort of thriller that paints a wry smirk on your face in allowing you to think you’ve come up with all the twists, even though you’ve been not so subtly guided to them by a film using genre staples as a well crafted sat nav.


0
Posted July 2, 2016 by

 
Film Review
 
 

You don’t see many thrillers days. They tend to be played out on either a much grander scale via the saturated market place of the superhero genre or on the smaller, more intimate, character building medium of television. The Ones Below though is a full-blown psychological thriller which utilises and plays on the troupes of the genre that populated 1990s as filmmakers sought to further Hitchcock’s groundbreaking works.

It means that as the The Ones Below unfolds you can tick off the films that have clearly influenced it. The story sees couple Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) live in a quaint little London flat with their first child on the way. One day they meet new neighbours who live in the flat beneath them and are also expecting a baby. Bubbly Theresa (Laura Birn) and stoic Jon (David Morrissey). At dinner one night Jon gives off a controlling, Sleeping With The Enemy vibe but before it can go full-on adjusting hand towels tragedy strikes.

From then on we’re into the realms of Malice as neighbours clash. Soon Kate begins obsessing over her neighbours. Watching them in their almost too perfect garden. It’s the kind of garden David Lynch would conjure before taking you beneath the surface to find all manner of things rotting and putrid. And all the while Curtis Hanson’s The Hand That Rocks The Cradle looms large. This is essentially an almost theatrical, thoroughly British version of that story. The sense of the mother’s struggle to look after her child entering the realms of paranoia as she assumes someone is trying to sabotage her and take her child.

Writer director David Farr, who wrote and produced much of this year’s excellent TV show The Night Manager, keeps things wonderfully paced. The film unfolds like a page turner of a book. Admittedly it’s the kind of book you’d pick up in an airport and read in no time at all but it keeps you hooked. More importantly it keeps you guessing as to what is really going on. Is Kate suffering some kind of mental breakdown? Are The Ones Below really the malicious people Kate suspects them of?
It’s fair to say the film never pulls the rug from under your feet. You’re likely to have most of it figured out long before it happens. But much of this is by design rather than accident. Farr focuses us in on small details which you are only too aware will play a greater part in the overall puzzle. But in signposting it so much you are left without the shock of the climax. A scene towards the end should have you gasping in horror but instead has you nodding, knowing that you called it exactly right.

The Ones Below is the sort of thriller that paints a wry smirk on your face in allowing you to think you’ve come up with all the twists, even though you’ve been not so subtly guided to them by a film using genre staples as a well crafted sat nav.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com


0 Comments



Be the first to comment!


You must log in to post a comment