Saturday, May 5, 2018

Movie Reviews: 10 x10

10 x 10
directed by Suzi Ewing
This was an effective little thriller that plays around with the viewer's expectations. You initially think it's another generic woman in peril film but it's not. Unfortunately it does use some cliches during the later portion of the movie while leaving more questions unanswered but overall this movie was worthwhile. The lead actor and actress are well known but I wouldn't call them superstars. I found it easy to fall into the film and flow into the world it created. At times the film might have stalled a little too long or been a little too cute in its bait and switch but no one is perfect. This was a good not great film. It's not something that you're going to remember for a long time. I thought the director missed the opportunity to really make you care about the two lead characters. This was not anything bad that the actors did. They were good.

Part of this was inherent in the setup. It's essential that the viewer not know certain things at the beginning. But later, I thought the director could have done a little more table setting, put things more in context so that the "good" and "evil" characters were a little better defined. But at just over ninety minutes this film didn't overstay its welcome. And Ewing and the screenwriter Noel Clarke do an excellent job of building tension and teasing viewer interest in the first part of the movie.

Lewis (Luke Evans) is an intense quiet fellow who has been stalking a florist, the curvy Cathy (Kelly Reilly) (both actor and actress try to eschew their native British accents) for a while now. Lewis follows Cathy from yoga classes and restaurants, always making sure to stay just off her radar screen. Before long, and rather implausibly to my way of thinking, Lewis has kidnapped Cathy in a parking lot during daylight. Faster than you can say Jackie Robinson Lewis has Cathy handcuffed, gagged and restrained in a soundproof 10 x 10 padded cell which he's built in his home. As you might presume, Lewis isn't wrapped too tightly. As Lewis explains Cathy can scream all she wants. No one will hear her. But Lewis is apparently not at all interested in the usual things that men who kidnap and bind women and put them in padded rooms are interested in. Nope. He wants to know Cathy's name. 

This kicks off a cat and mouse game where your perception of who's the mouse will probably change back and forth. Both Lewis and Cathy are grimly determined to see this through to the end. There is violence. There's no on screen nudity, just a brief shower scene with Evans and a few blink and you miss it cleavage shots with Reilly. Sex is, as mentioned, really not the point. Reilly and Evans don't have many other people to play off of here. For sizable amounts of time they are on the screen by themselves. But neither of them ever makes this feel like a stage play. It feels real, right up until some cliches are delivered. This is more thriller than horror movie. For a real scare check out Reilly's work in Eden Lake.

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