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Hungerford (2014)

Hungerford 2014 Horror Movie Review


The lives of a group of teenagers are turned upside down when their town is taken over by sinister forces.


Hungerford 2014 Horror Movie Review

Review

Writer / director Drew Casson (feature debut) brings a bleak backdrop to England in Hungerford - a found footage, end of the world scenario, in which a small group of friends witness the arrival of something terrible.

The setup of the film is pretty standard - we meet and greet with the cast, and get an explanation for the filming - before things go awry. Sold as a horror sci-fi, there is a touch of humor to the proceedings too, which is a welcome addition. The screenplay can easily be broken down to the three act structure, with the first and second being solid examples of apocalyptic film making, the friends living their lives before the strange but not unexplainable occurs, and then full on, well, we'll say it - zombie apocalypse. While the film goes out of its way to explain the behavior of the public at large, it feels a little like a zombie film, but more 28 Days Later, than Night of the Living Dead - and for that the team behind the camera should be lauded. For low and micro budget film makers zombie is easy - and this team haven't made it easy on themselves at all.

The third act is where the film certainly shines with full on action, a sudden increase in pace, exciting sets - so much that indie film makers try to do without. It's a great ending too, begging for a sequel which we at Dead Celluloid would love to see.


Hungerford 2014 Horror Movie Review


While the run time is shy of 90 minutes by some stretch, the film is very well paced, allowing for time with the cast to grow and have a backstory, the 'event' to be explored as best it can - and for a stark, action finale, that is quite the spectacle - all thanks to Casson's direction and the additional writers, Jess Cleverly (debut feature) and Sarah Perugia (debut feature).

The cast are good across the board, with one or two standouts. Casson himself is a strong lead - his performance feels very real, and Georgia Bradley (feature debut) as long suffering Phil puts in a great show.

This one is very much the Drew Casson show - the young film maker has been working hard for the last few years both in front, and notably behind, the camera. Casson looks to be trying to find his place in the industry and from this project, it's clear that his acting is solid and his writing, direction, and FX work were good to great at this point, five years ago. We'd love to see more from him and it looks as though the team are largely responsible for The Darkest Dawn which we'll see if we can track down a copy of for review.

Hungerford feels like a mash between The World's End and The Inbetweeners, and does well for it - it has plenty of grit backed up by the performances, and clever direction hiding the budget restraints. Probably its biggest problem is when trying to find a wide audience, I feel that some of the more nuanced scenes, performances, and jokes might fall flat to viewers not familiar with a UK lifestyle. It doesn't detract from the film greatly, but seeing a bobby with a semi-automatic is just funny. And a lot of people reading this review won't get that.

Certainly for us, it was far better than we were expecting, and definitely must see material.





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