Why do I never learn? I know I’m a wimp when it comes to Horror films, and I should know by now not to watch them when I’m alone in the house. But of course I won’t be told. Not even by myself. And so I did it again! Last night on Film 4, a British horror film intrigued me.
I’m a big fan of British horror films. There gritty with easily relatable narratives and, filmed on low budgets, there’s a ‘real’ quality to them. There’s little money for special FX so they rely heavily on story and great acting. So rather than the usual far-fetched gore fests, British horror films have that added believability. But still plenty of gore!
F, set entirely in a school, charts one fatal night as a group of hooded teens terrorize the teachers, staff, and pupils still inside the school after hours. David Schofield plays Robert Anderson, a teacher who after being provoked into assaulting a pupil some months earlier is still struggling to get over it. He is no longer the model of professionalism, instead drinking on the job, with no enthusiasm for his work and no respect from his colleagues, he is considered a joke. So when strange things start happening Robert struggles to find someone who’ll believe him. As the hooded teens start picking people off one by one Robert races to find his daughter who he kept behind on detention. You’re on tenterhooks the whole time, as Director Johannes Roberts creates an unpleasant, very tense atmosphere throughout the entire film. It’s a white knuckle ride with every opened door, every turned corner, and every glance above creating a new terror. And while there are some seriously graphic scenes, you never actually witness any real violence. You watch as innocent victims plead for their lives unsuccessfully and then have the ‘pleasure’ of seeing what’s left of them. But your overactive imagination has fills in the blanks. And my mind certainly went to town on that! Once again less proves to be more. But for me it was too much. Not only did I check my wardrobe and behind the door before going to bed, but every gust of wind, every movement of my bed covers, and even my coat on the back of the door creating an ominous shadow, had me imagining the worst. My eyelids are propped open with match sticks because I haven’t slept since the night before last, and I have no one to blame but myself L. So I ask again….Why do I never learn!
The only negatives I have about the film were a few dodgy performances. Eliza Bennett, who plays Roberts wayward daughter gives a less than convincing show but she does Oh-my-god-I’ve-just-been-stabbed really well. David Schofield is the films acting highlight and as he plays the lead and character we most empathise with other performances don’t matter so much as the rest are expendable and irrelevant to the films central narrative. Unfortunately the hooded teens, and very well-played tormentors, aren’t credited on IMDB.com so I can’t give them individual praise, but know this……they were terrifying.
All I can say is thank God I’ve finished school.
This not so aptly titled F gets a B+ from me. One of the best ‘Hoody-Horrors’ I’ve seen, however not as good as Eden Lake.