Friday, 6 July 2018

Containment (2015)





Synopsis

What happens when a epidemic breaks out, but you're kept in the dark? Anything can happen. Slowly the residents realize that they will all die unless they come together.

Review

Director Neil Mcenery-West opens 2015's Containment with Mark - a run down artist, who is late for his court hearing. But Mark awakens to a tower block on lock down. The opening of Containment is pretty fresh. Not only is the tower block in quarantine, as are the adjacent blocks, but the apartments are all sealed from the outside.

Unlike other films of a similar ilk (The Divide / REC / Right At Your Door) Containment has no setup. The action is on from minute one. With the residents of the building breaking through walls, and eventually doors, a small group is formed.




Mark very much takes the lead, with other (fairly trope) types in the group - the youngster, the elderly woman, antagonist / anti-hero, coward, etc. - adding little to the setup. Sadly, we've seen them all before. That said, the cast is pretty strong, as is the screen writing, so things even out well enough.

Lead, Mark, is played by Lee Ross (EastEnders) - someone whom I had followed since the days of Press Gang - and I was pleasantly surprised at how well he ran the gauntlet with such a powerful role. Thuggish neighbor Sergei (Andrew Leung - Dirk Gently) offers up a strong arm anti-hero well, and elderly chain smoker Enid (Sheila Reid - Brazil) steals the show.

With a small budget the tension is, well, taut, and the relatively short running time means that the film never has time to slow the pace. The film is largely set during the day, and there is little to no budget for SFX, but at no point do you miss them. With people running around in hazmat suits the whole time, it's the writing that gives the film its energy.

The bad guys aren't who you would think.

As with most of these quarantine films, there is of course a neat twist, and although I saw some of it coming, not all of it. Nice treat.

All round, it's an interesting indie Britflick with a strong cast, good direction, and nice writing. Highly recommended.

  



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