(Ben Wheatley, UK, 2009)
Saw this as part of a double-bill drive-in event with the aforementioned Survival of the Dead. What the hell was this doing on a drive-n schedule? As an examination of family values, a double-bill with Survival makes sense – but not a drive-in double-bill. Drive-ins connote cheap flicks, loud flicks, thrills, spills, and chills. This was, in essence, a family drama, and suits a theatre, not a space filled with cars.
Although not a horror film, for a family saga it is very bleak, but not afraid of using surprising moments of comedy to complicate the flavour. Essentially it feels like a UK cousin to Animal Kingdom, following the gradual disintergration of a family and their loose-knit gangster clan through utter paranoia and hair-trigger tempers. The film is not afraid to extemporise on the quotidian aspects of the family, and these slow mundane passages allow for some colour and contrast to the brief bursts of violence.