F (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/09/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 79 mins

Impressively directed, superbly shot and genuinely disturbing British horror with a terrific central performance from David Schofield.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Johannes Roberts, F stars David Schofield as Robert Anderson, a teacher who's devastated when his school won't back him after he's assaulted by one of his pupils. The attack puts a serious strain on Robert's relationship with both his ex-wife (Juliet Aubrey) and his teenage daughter Kate (Eliza Bennett), a situation that Robert doesn't make any better by a) starting to drink while at school and b) putting Kate in detention so he can spend time with her.

However, just when Robert thinks his problems can't possibly get any worse, a group of vicious free-running hoodies lay siege to the building during after-school detention, seemingly intent on slaughtering everyone inside.

The Good
When F screened at this year's FrightFest, writer-director Johannes Roberts freely acknowledged that the film was essentially a school version of Assault On Precinct 13, though it also owes a huge debt to 2006's French horror Them (Ils), which similarly had faceless, silent hoodies tormenting-slash-slaughtering an innocent couple.

The direction is extremely impressive, with Roberts and DP Tim Sidell constantly experimenting with strange angles, tight close-ups and out-of-focus shots to create a brilliantly unsettling atmosphere throughout. This is heightened by a terrific score from Neil Stemp.

The Great
It's always a treat to see a great character actor handed a juicy lead role and David Schofield is terrific as Robert, delivering a performance that's simultaneously moving and unsettling, since he's essentially on the edge of a full-blown nervous breakdown. There's also superb support from Ruth Gemmell (wonderful as his icily dismissive boss), Eliza Bennett and Finlay Robertson as a dopey security guard who gets more than he bargained for.

The script is excellent, with several unexpected turns that work extremely well, particularly in the final scene. It's also worth noting that although you occasionally see the gory aftermath, all the actual violence takes place offscreen, though the fact that there's no ostensible reason for the hoodies' attack, coupled with the fact that you never see their faces and they never speak, lends the film a nightmarish quality that is likely to stay with you long after you leave the cinema.

Worth seeing?
F is a superbly directed, genuinely chilling British horror that will have you crossing the road to avoid hoodies for the foreseeable future.

Film Trailer

F (15)
F has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 18/09/2018 21:56

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