The Disappearance of Alice Creed is releasing on DVD November 23rd through Anchor Bay Entertainment. This kidnap thriller was shot in Briton and the film is significant for focusing on only a few characterizations including and limited to: Danny (Martin Compston), Vic (Eddie Marsan) and Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton). Performances and story are what matter in the film and director J. Blakeson (Descent 2) builds tension through silence initially and with character reveals later. These two kidnappers are much more than two simple criminals. Instead, they are something much more human.
The film begins with a mature man and his younger accomplice preparing for an unspoken heist, or unknown criminal act. Not much later. the subject of the title is apprehended in daylight, as she goes about her daily business. Later, the real motivations of the characters are revealed after Alice is able to briefly escape. A well developed kidnap plan soon destructs and the intimacy of the relationships are soon shown to be much deeper than initially revealed.
Director Blakeson shows a wit by not allowing the kidnappers to self-destruct through an external interruption, but through their own selfish loves and desires. Love and violence mix like oil and water in the film, with one younger character unable to stifle his empathy for another. Alice soon becomes a major character in a power shifting love triangle, that leaves some worse off than others.
The power of The Disappearance of Alice Creed comes only partially from the build up, and primarily through the violent conclusion. Both kidnappers show that there is no honour amongst thieves; they also show that there is no honour amongst lovers. The film is rewatchable for the juxtaposition of power between characters, as one person becomes more powerful by realigning themselves with another character. And when a kidnapper aligns himself with the kidnapped, then you know events will be unpredictable. This is revealed in the final act.
Anchor Bay Entertainment has picked up a real gem of a film in The Disappearance of Alice Creed, for several reasons. The tension throughout builds the excitement throughout, while the character reveals (which will not be described here) hold the curiosity. Also, the acting is exceptional, as the youngest kidnapper shows a believable immaturity. The older kidnapper displays his Achilles’ heel later on, but Marsan is always showing himself to be a prison hardened criminal. Love is often an Achilles’ heel for characters and this film is no different.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed is one for thriller fans. The violence is sparse and the thrills are built through the illusion of violence. Available on DVD and Blu-Ray later this month, this film will be a trophy in many movie fans’ crime thriller collections.
Overall: 8 out of 10.