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Tower Block (2012)

Tower BlockDirector: James Nunn, Ronnie Thompson
Screenplay: James Moran
Starring: Sheridan Smith, Russell Tovey, Jack O’Connell
Certificate: 15
Running time: 90 minutes
Release date: 18 February 2013

We live in a scary world these days. The threat of terrorism is permanently etched into our subconscious and it’s not always easy to just get on with our lives as a result.

When a teenager tries to escape two masked pursuers in the eponymous block of flats, he finds no one willing to help him. The residents either lock up or turn off their lights as he hammers on their doors. Only Becky (Smith) tries to help, but she finds herself knocked unconscious as a result. The teenager is later found dead from the beating his assailants dish out.

Three months later we find the tenants going about their lives. There is a real myriad of characters that tick most of the cliché boxes, but this only assists in the story as events unfold. We discover that they are the last tenants in the block and they all reside on the top floor. One morning, without warning, they all find themselves under attack. Through their windows, they are being picked off one by one by a silent assassin. A sniper is taking them out, without giving any reason why. There are, however, a number of pieces of paper strewn about with depictions of the three wise monkeys. The victims realise that they are being punished for not helping the teenager or the police with their enquiries.

They consider all possible routes of escape, but it seems their tormentor has thought of everything. Phones are down; the lift is out of order; exits are either covered by the sniper’s sights, or have been blocked. So it becomes a real fight for survival in a minimalist environment.

The fact that the film manages to keep your attention and interest even though the scenes are mostly played out in grey corridors is testament to good writing. You will find your feelings towards the characters veer from like and dislike to hate. There are even moments where you will be surprised at your responses towards them.

The reason behind why the sniper has decided to punish the tenants resonates well in today’s environment, where Neighbourhood Watch has fallen by the wayside. You will find yourself asking what you would do in this situation. Any film that does that deserves a thumbs up from us.

JD GILLAM

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1 comment

  1. Watched this last weekend. Really enjoyed it. Very impressive all round.

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