This film was something I saw on the shelf at a Best Buy store and figured to grab it when it had blurbs of how good it was from some reputable horror-genre websites (bloody-disgusting.com; fangoria; etc.) And I usually trust these websites among others on what they consider a good horror or sci-fi flick than some others or even mainstream reviewers. If you don't get genre films then you probably should not review them.
Anyways, the film is actually pretty good. At one point I was going to contact a friend of mine in the middle of the flick to say I have found one of the best horror films I may have ever scene but then a minute or two later it faded out a bit. So how and why and what is this flick all about (without spoilers)?
Basically we have Beth, a divorcee mother just outside of Liverpool who has lost custody of her daughter. It is Christmas Eve in the early morning when her daughter is dropped off by the father to spend the winter holidays with her. The daughter and mother are definately not on friendly terms. Let's just say if you are a mother and do not have custody (chosen or voluntary) there may be a problem. After a big fight with the mother, the daughter goes across the street to a neighbour's home. This is about the 16 minute mark. At this point, after a very good background on the characters we have the real beginning of the flick. No spoiler here, but as shown on the box cover, we have a bunch of British commandos come in and tell everyone to get back in their house.
The suspense builds for a number of reasons. We have a mother who wants to get her daughter back over in her own house yet can't because of the soldiers are forcing everyone inside. Also an unknown danger seems to be everywhere; is it terrorists or a chemical spill? No matter, the suspense builds pretty tightly for the next 41 minutes with a number of high energy scares, violence, suspense, and true horror moments. Within the house with her is a one-night stand she met the night before so her companion himself is a stranger and we learn more about him as well. These first 57 minutes of film were so incredibly good that I was on the edge of my seat saying this film is simply one of the best horror flicks I have seen in the past year.
Then, however, we have some problems. The film begins to become a bit silly. The soldiers, who themselves seem to be antagonists, appear to not be able to control just a few civilians and they behave almost as if they are criminal. And the secret of why they are there turns out to be at first a great twist but within ten minutes into the discovery it becomes ho-hum and not all that thrilling. And the soldiers seem to be a greater threat than the reason they are there in the first place which made the film seem very unrealistic.
So what we had with the first 57 minutes was a really good kenetic horror flick that has a final 16 minutes that end with a whimper. With the exception of the very last scene in the film the third act wasn't all that good.
Do I recommend it? I sure do. Just be a bit disappointed when the third act comes in. When I was thinking how great the flick was to the point of pausing my copy and calling a friend and saying you got to see this flick only to have that all fade away when the last 16 minutes occurred, just be sure to prepare yourself otherwise you'll be really down about what was a very good flick (that almost was great).
For the blood and boob crowd, those who love exploitation with their horror, you will not be disappointed. You get it all; nudity, a sex scene, horrible deaths, and out of your chair scares.