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  M.   August 22, 2009

We’ve heard good things about this UK flick which has a short synopsis of: “Two men, an empty apartment, a millionaire’s daughter: greed, deception and survival.” and I was keeping an eye on it before it was even announced at TIFF.. but as of yet we only have one still, courtesy of the TIFF website where Alice will be premiering. Here’s their rundown on the film:

Brisk, brutal and effective – that describes the shocker opening of The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Two men fortify a nondescript British apartment so it can serve as a prison, and then kidnap a woman and tie her to a bed. Before there’s even time to react, we’re plunged into a very nasty situation – but not a simple one.

The brilliance of J Blakeson’s debut lies in how it parses out information and ratchets up the stakes with every scene. Who are these two men? Why have they kidnapped Alice? What is their relationship to each other, and to her? Each leap to the next answer reveals new pieces of the puzzle but complicates the overall picture. And even when the players are known, there are still new surprises in store.

The main surprise – relief, really – is that this is not the latest example of torture porn disguised as entertainment. Working from his own carefully honed script, Blakeson is after something rarer: a thriller that’s both frightening and deeply satisfying. At the heart of its twists and jolts is an understanding of how real people act in desperate situations. Vic (Eddie Marsan) is hard and remorseless, but his dominance over the younger Danny (Martin Compston) turns out to be shaky. And although Alice (Gemma Arterton) is terrorized by the plight she wakes up to, her feral intelligence takes over and shifts the balance of power again.

Fresh from his raging turn in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky, Marsan plays Vic with an intensity that is no longer comic. Compston keeps his character’s secrets well hidden under a handsome facade. And rising British talent Arterton literally defies all expectations. Blakeson keeps all the players and parts of his tight little thriller kicking along at a ferocious pace. Not since Reservoir Dogs has a hostage standoff been handled with such intelligence.

Trailer please!


The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009): Production Stills