Wednesday, August 20

Comedown Review

Dir: Menhaj Huda
Starring: Jacob Anderson, Sophie Stuckey, Adam Deacon, Jessica Barden, Duane Henry, Shizzio, and Calum Macnab

Stuck in a high-rise flat, six friends are hunted by a shadowy figure in "Comedown". The performances and isolated location hold it strong, though, as characters begin to meet their grisly exit and the “monster” takes a prominent role, the cliché setups and forced twists render "Comedown" a bit of a letdown.

Lloyd (Jacob Anderson) has been in jail for the past three months. He is released and aims to change his gritty, crime ridden London lifestyle in order to take care of his pregnant girlfriend Jemma (Sophie Stuckey). Lloyd’s old crew, lead by the bullying Jason (Adam Deacon), forces him into participation for a job and wild night out in an abandoned multi-level apartment. Once the crew becomes situated in their old stomping grounds, drugs are distributed by Jason to the crew and an unwilling Lloyd. Quickly things turn bloody as a stalking figure begins to hunt everyone in the crew.

The title of the film is in reference to that tough recovery period after a night of partying, heavy drinking, or in this case the use of heavy drugs. Though the young group here doesn’t wake up in a daze with a bad headache, instead they awake in the middle of the horror show. Director Menhaj Huda organizes the environment of the high-rise complex like a maze. What seems like a never-ending amount of stairs, long murky hallways, and dark corners that offer the hint of something hiding. This entire atmosphere works nicely to introduce the film and Huda sways compassion towards the relationship of Lloyd and Jemma, two good performances by Anderson and Stuckey, effectively using them to build tension in the later moments of the film.

The motivation of the young people is important to the story, why else do they end up in an abandoned facility? Huda gives them a fitting reason, one that is opportunistic with the hint of fun. Initially things start promising, the group has a gritty chemistry that works, but once the stalking begins, things start to fall apart. Everything is hurried, which hurts the pacing when elements become more panicked for the group. It’s unusual that the “monster” causes this, but unfortunately there is really nothing memorable about the hooded figure. A tedious backstory for the villain offers a glimmer of redemption, but it is initiated late in the third act and is less of a revelation and more of a straightforward explanation. There are a few nice gore scenes that Huda utilizes, especially one with a nail gun.

Director Menhaj Huda tries very hard to keep his film from becoming a run of the mill slasher flick, but you could replace high-rise with any location, unique or otherwise, and you’d have a familiar setup for most slasher films. While "Comedown" is overly familiar and not exceptionally frightening, the intentions of the filmmaker are visible and come off admirably in moments.

Monte's Rating

2.50 out of 5.00

No comments:

Post a Comment