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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Ones Below


Starring: Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn and Deborah Findlay
Distributor: Icon Film Distribution
Certificate: TBC
Release Date: 04 July 2016

Kate and Justin are expecting their first baby. The flat below becomes available and Jon and Theresa move in also expecting their first child. The two couples get to know each other over dinner in Kate's flat . When Theresa stumbles and falls, leaving the dinner party, her injuries mean that they lose their child and she blames Kate and Justin for not replacing the hall light...

The Ones Below (2015. 1 hr, 22 min, 50 sec) is a British thriller, written and directed by David Farr, who most recently wrote the much acclaimed The Night Manager.

The film is a real slow burner and great sections of the movie give the appearance that nothing much is happening, except that as the audience you know that there is something really wrong with Jon (David Morrissey) and Theresa (Laura Birn) and it’s not just Jon’s explosive temper, there is something extremely creepy about the couple.

Following the birth of their son, Jon and Theresa reacquaint themselves with Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore), starting to get close to both the parents and especially the baby. A series of small and in themselves minor events, bath water being left on, gas also left on, noises on the baby monitor all combine to charge Kate with suspicion that something is going on, the pressure of this and her new child makes her initially paranoid and then subsequently she starts to fully unravel. Justin cannot understand what is happening with his wife as he is supportive, but mostly absent.

Although not profound, the film does a good job at keeping your suspicions going and it takes some time for the film to reveal whether Kate, played splendidly by Poésy, is suffering some form of post birth breakdown or whether the couple downstairs are really creepy. The "Are they? Aren’t they?" manages to hold the attention throughout with a script which holds its secrets right to the end.

The DVD came with option for either a 5.1 Dolby Surround or 2.0 Stereo, the latter makes better use of the minimalist and yet creepy music score, although either work well with the film's spoken word. The disc also contains optional English subtitles.

There are a number of extras, including interviews with the director and the four main character actors, who discuss their involvement in the film. There is a featurette (3 min) which works mainly as an advert for the film. You also get the Trailer (1 min, 50 sec) and Deleted Scenes (7 mins), the longest of which explains why Kate starts to rely on Theresa’s help.

So, not a bad first outing, each of the four main actors put in good performances and the script is tight, well written.


Charles Packer

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