Directed by: J. Blakeson
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston
It seems like there is a movie with a kidnapping at the center of the plot every few months. So, how was The Disappearance of Alice Creed? I gave this little known film a spin in the old player.
Right away, this movie has a big change from the typical “by the numbers” kidnapping tale: this one is told from the perspective of the kidnappers. It doesn’t focus on the distressed family at home nor focus solely on the kidnapping victim herself.
Enter into the story Danny (Martin Compston) and Vic (Eddie Marsan), the two highly prepared criminals who meticulously plan the kidnapping of Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), the daughter of a millionaire.
They painstakingly prepare an apartment, complete with restraining devices and even going to the trouble of sound proofing the walls. The plan is complete, now all they need is the girl. They snatch Alice off the street with relative ease and get her back to the holding apartment. And that is where the easy part of this abduction ends.
Danny and Vic think they have picked the perfect “victim”, a helpless woman that will sit still until they collect their big pay day. It isn’t going to turn out like that for these criminals.
Alice quickly assesses the situation and realizes that there are weaknesses in the men that have abducted her that she can take advantage of. Danny and Vic’s personal relationship isn’t as strong as it would appear and Alice is going to exploit that weakness in some very clever ways.
As the film moves to its conclusion, not only Alice is fighting for survival, but it would seem that the sun may be setting on Danny and Vic as well.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed was a nice surprise. The all the main actors turn in solid performances, the plot is intriguing and never predictable and the script features some nice character development that will have the audience changing their minds about who is right and who is wrong in the story.
I was not familiar with J. Blakeson, the director. Upon research, I learned that Variety listed Blakeson as one of the 10 directors to watch in their list published in January 2010. Just based on the strength of this film, I feel like he deserves his spot on this list.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed is one of those indie films that does a lot with very little. This is a taut thriller with three characters and limited locations and keeps the audience intrigued from frame one. There are a lot of big Hollywood directors with twice the budget and access to A list actors that couldn’t direct something this accomplished. That’s reason enough to add this one to the Netflix queue.
The film is presented in Anamorphic widescreen in a 1080P presentation. The level of detail is nice and the colors are vibrant. I found the black levels to be respectable as well. I did not see any evidence of compression or edge enhancement. All things considered, a more than decent transfer of this film
Presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1, the dialogue is crystal clear throughout and mixed well for the 5.1 environment. I found both the low and high ends to be clear and crisp. Optional English and Spanish subtitles are available.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The film is presented in a standard amaray case with a artwork suited for this understated film.
An entertaining and informative commentary is offered. There are also outtakes and some deleted and extended scenes offered for your pleasure.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Film 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall ( Not an Average) 7/10