April 23, 2011

Filthy Review - F

There was a time where kids were always the victims, often relentlessly pursued by a lone (for the most part) killer, they were purely fodder to help fuel our bloodlust. Even in movies that tried to put a twist on events they still had the staple diet of teenage death. Now the tide is turning and, although there have been films throughout the years that have featured murderous young scoundrels, it seems that the kids are out for revenge.

The latest to turn the tables on the adults is F from director Johannes Roberts, and is a movie that has seemingly been ripped from the pages of a lurid tabloid newspaper. If 2008's Eden Lake, which features a vacationing couple tormented by a group of vicious teens, took the horror to the countryside then F drags a very similar premise kicking and screaming into the inner city school setting.

Robert Anderson (a quite excellent David Scofield) is a teacher who is assaulted by a student forcing him into a short leave of absence from his job. During that time he hits the bottle hard whilst scouring the papers for news of other such assaults in schools around the country. Estranged from his wife and daughter, who is also a pupil at the school he works at, he eventually returns to work. Scared and bitter, and under the influence of his drinking habit, he takes out his frustrations on his daughter putting her in detention after school. It's here where events start to take a turn for the sinister, as the school comes under siege from a gang of hoodie wearing psychopaths.

Although slightly reminiscent of movies such as Eden Lake, Them (Ils) and even Assault on Precint 13, F manages to be a quite effective little thriller. The internal quarrels between father and daughter are offset perfectly against the all too real horrors that could quite possibly be the end of them. The cast is fleshed out well with plenty of potential victims, other students, janitors, security guards and the school Principle amongst others are all present and accounted for and ready for action.

F is an impressively taut movie which does keep your attention and there are plenty are gruesome, in some cases quite heartbreaking, scenes during its short (76mins) running time. That being said though F is not without its flaws. The attackers here all seem to be professional gymnasts that manage to leap and glide all over the place, rather than the thuggish offspring they really are. Who knows, maybe they are gymnasts? Also, a lot of the violence does occur off screen with the movie cutting from the initial assault to scenes of the aftermath of the attack. That being said it really does not take away from the ferocity of proceedings.

All in all though F is a decidely superior addition to the so-called hoodie horror subgenre and also comes complete with a climax that rivals Eden Lake and Cherry Tree Lane in its power.

Review by Jude Felton

No comments: