Monday, 14 November 2011

Review - Shuttle (2008 - Dir. Edward Anderson)

Bought from Poundland, I wasn't expecting much from this. But, for a pound you can't go too wrong. It looks like your typical 'Irritating teenager types get killed and our heroine is left alive at the end, all shot with super-flashy style and mega fast cuts' kind of film. 

But I was wrong. For starters, it's virtually monochrome. The editing is relatively slow and stylistically things are kept simple, keeping you firmly within the story and giving it space to breathe. This all came as a bit of a shock. There was more to come.

Shuttle opens like the aforementioned films. One of the teenagers is very irritating, but everyone else is strangely likeable. Mel (Peyton List) and Jules (Cameron Goodman) get on a shuttle bus to their homes after a holiday together. They are joined by two young guys. A nervous fellow is already on the bus and the driver (Tony Curran) seems very affable. Because it's a film, things obviously start to go pear shaped as the driver takes them on an interesting detour. And it's not to get a kebab from Mike's Kebab Shop.

Tony Curran makes a fantastic three-dimensional villain. At times, he shows a capacity for savageness and at others he seems to be resigned to what he is doing and almost tender. Never resorting to pantomime antics, he is the backbone of the film. Supporting him is Peyton List, who is a strong female heroine. Always believable in her acting (maybe not in her actions - a chance to brain the driver is inexplicably passed by - but that's the scriptwriter's fault) she is another of Shuttle's strengths.

There is one fairly obvious twist midway through, but this is soon dispensed with as we get to the disturbing ending. All the clues are in there for you to work out what is happening, so you don't feel cheated. I always like a nice bleak ending and this has a bleak ending. Not at all expected.

Give it a try, and like me, you could be pleasantly surprised.

If you like this you could also try:
Martyrs, Switchblade Romance, Wolf Creek.