Comedown (2012)

Directed By: Menhaj Huda
Written By: Steven Kendall
Starring: Jacob Anderson
  Adam Deacon
  Jessica Barden
Comedown

Anti-hero Lloyd returns home fresh from a three month stretch in the local chokey to reunite with his pregnant girlfriend and their repugnant group of pseudo-friends. They have a plan to infiltrate their dilapidated old flat block so they can install a pirate radio aerial for a drug dealing DJ. Inside the block lurks a killer who probably won’t take kindly to his home being used as a giant transmitter for shit dance music. It’s pretty a flimsy premise, but no flimsier than 85% of other slasher baselines. Everybody knows that a good slasher is all in the execution.

It’s competently made. Excellently shot by cinematographer Trevor Forrest and Kidulthood director, Menhaj Huda. The performances are a highlight, with everyone turning in stellar natural turns as their respective characters. You would be forgiven for thinking that these actors actually were hoodie-rats from the south of London captured on camera going about their nefarious business if not for the dodgy motivations of some of the characters. Most of which are shaky at best, particularly from the villain, who (without spoilers) probably has the single worst reason for killing a group of kids ever.

Apart from a few pacing issues, Comedown plays really well. The dark and ominous hallways of the deserted tower block make an excellent home for a slasher (both genre and character), and some of the kills were handled well enough to be considered for a place in the best of the year so far. It ventures into Saw-lite territory, without over-egging it and comes off better for it. Comedown does suffer from the well-worn “just one last job gone awry” approach to the redemptive arc, which we’ve seen from anti-heroes for decades now and always fails to offer any new insight into our leading man.

With certain Brit-horror flicks making waves across the planet, you’re bound to pick up a couple of copycats. Now, Comedown definitely isn’t strictly a facsimile of any other movie. It has it’s own ideas and it’s own themes, but it never really manages to escape from the shadow of that other London-based tower block horror sci-fi flick from last year. No one would think any less of you for thinking it was produced with an eye on cashing in on Attack The Block‘s box office success, although I’m sure that’s not the case.

Comedown is a well-made brit-slasher with a good sense of fun but seemingly very little purpose. It finds its swing in the excellent death scenes and wonderful acting, but struggles to maintain a strong position throughout. A little sting in the tail may leave you feeling less-than-breezy as the credits roll, it’s not enough to temper your enjoyment of a excellently put together gritty horror that is nothing if not flawed.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

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