London Film Festival 2012 – day five: Black Rock
Thursday 18th October, 6.15pm – Vue, West End
Friday 19th October, 3.15pm – Vue, West End
Sunday 21st October, 8.30pm – Hackney Picturehouse
One of the great things about the London Film Festival is the opportunity it brings to many directors, producers and actors who can showcase their work on a general platform, without the need to part with too much cash on distribution. A trend for actors to get behind the camera and have a go themselves is steadily rising. Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet is one of the hotly anticipated Gala films being shown this year and Black Rock is another that hands the reigns to actress Katie Aselton.
Written by Mark Duplass, who penned offbeat comedies Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives At Home, Black Rock is his first attempt at the thriller/horror genre. Following an argument, which leaves childhood friends Louise (Lake Bell) and Abby (Katie Aselton) at loggerheads, Sarah (Kate Bosworth) attempts to rekindle their friendship by organising a trip to an island they visited as children. After meeting three young soldiers (Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson and Anslem Richardson) who have just returned from duty in Iraq, things go from bad to worse and a relaxing getaway soon turns into a lethal game of cat and mouse…
Coming in just shy of 90 minutes, Duplass has to be punctual with each scene. The dialogue between characters is so natural; one wouldn’t be surprised if many scenes were improvised in order to capture some realism. In order to make this genre of film work, the chemistry between the girls has to be believable in order for the audience to care for their safety. Thankfully it is. It rolls along a steady pace and still maintains a sense of intrigue as the fate of these young girls is slowly decided.
The film’s only crime is that it tries to run before it can walk. Duplass seems to put everything in a higher gear during the last quarter of the film and things do get a bit ridiculous. However, having said that, the premise is solid and it’s a promising start for Aselton, who lays a good foundation for a successful career as a director. A small but powerful film that will leave you gripped until the end.
Read more reviews from the 56th London Film Festival here.