The Disappearance of Alice Creed

The Disappearance of Alice Creed

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009). Directed by J. Blakeson.

J. Blakeson’s debut film is absolutely brilliant. The world premiere of The Disappearance of Alice Creed ranks up there with Jason Reitman’s debut film, Thank You For Smoking. Blakeson is a talented writer and director that has crafted an intelligent thriller.

Danny (Martin Compston) and Vic (Eddie Marsan) convert a British flat into a temporary prison, complete with soundproof walls. After meticulous planning and preparation, they kidnap a wealthy young woman, Alice (Gemma Arterton). She’s tied to a bed, photographed and her father is contacted by Vic who requests a ransom for her safe return.

Vic is explosive, controlling and seemingly unpredictable. Danny follows his instructions and everything seems to go according to plan until a series of twists and turns shift the balance of power more than once. Blake’s clever script will keep you guessing how this hostage standoff will end.

At times the film can be pretty bleak but Blake injects just enough humour to break the tension and let the audience catch their breath. He admires the work of the Coen brothers and it’s easy to see where he pays homage to films like Blood Simple, Fargo and Miller’s Crossing (forest execution scene). David Lynch is another influence which can be seen in the colour palette of some scenes.

Eddie Marsan’s performance was very strong. At the Q&A following the film he appeared as a gentle, soft-spoken gentleman but in the film he comes across as brutish terror that intimidates Alice and Danny.

J. Blakeson has done an exceptional job with the writing and directing of this film. He manages to keep the audience guessing, right up until the end with a satisfying conclusion. I was also amazed at what he was able to do with just 3 actors and a few sets. At no time did this hinder the movie in any way. The production value is first-rate. I’m already looking forward to his next film.


Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

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Posted in 2009 TIFF at 12:44 AM