Brighton’s blackest of black comedy.
Ben Wheatley’s debut feature film Down Terrace is a marvellously mundane and back-breakingly amusing addition to this director’s television repertoire, which includes directing Channel 4’s blunt and humorous Modern Toss. This blackest of black comedy, set mainly in an oppressively intense, tiny terrace house in Brighton, sees a father and a son’s paranoia spin out of control as they try to figure out which of their so-called ‘mates’ got them put in prison.
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Their grey world of countless cuppas, unwanted pregnancies, bread-line living, unlikely romance and familial tensions almost seems quite ordinary. That is, until you realise that the multiple murders, slapstick kitchen-sink slaughter and daybreak drug doses are the domestic norm for this crime-ridden Brighton family. The plot’s many unpredictable twists smoothly blend gangster comedy with elements of sitcom and thrillers. Distinctively different from other slicker Brit gangster classics like Lock Stock, this home-grown tale of bloodshed proves that you don’t need a lot of money, or to go too far from home, to make a memorable movie.
Down Terrace is out now on DVD