Salvage (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/03/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Impressively directed, suitably atmospheric horror flick with a script that keeps you guessing and a terrific central performance from Neve McIntosh.

What's it all about?
Directed by Lawrence Gough, Salvage is set in a cul-de-sac in the Wirral on Christmas Eve and stars Neve McIntosh as Beth, a divorced mother whose morning after her one-night stand with feckless Kieran (Shaun Dooley) is rudely interrupted by the early arrival of her estranged daughter Jodie (Linzey Cocker), who promptly strops off to stay with the neighbours. However, when Beth tries to persuade Jodie to come back, she's suddenly surrounded by a gun-toting special ops military unit who promptly shoot down one of her neighbours and bundle her back inside, ordering her to stay indoors.

Forced to spend more time with Kieran than she'd really planned on, Beth frantically tries to get back across the road to Jodie, but when the neighbours keep dying in violently gruesome ways, they realise that it might not be a terrorist attack after all.

The Good
Neve McIntosh (who, frankly, doesn't make nearly enough films) is terrific as Beth, delivering a believable performance that isn't afraid to be unsympathetic – her introduction is less than flattering and it's quite shocking to hear her explain to Kieran why she abandoned her daughter. There's also strong support from Shaun Dooley, whose mixture of paranoia, forced bravery and terror is equally convincing.

By keeping the majority of the action inside the house (thankfully there's an adjoining attic that helps expand things a bit), Gough creates a suspenseful atmosphere that works well. He also delivers several decent shocks, including some impressive gore effects and an unexpected reveal that pays off because it comes much earlier than anticipated.

The Bad
That's not to say the film is without flaws; for one thing, the opening of the film focuses exclusively on Cocker's character and her likeable relationship with her dad (Dean Andrews) as they drive to the Wirral, so it's frustrating when she basically disappears as soon as we meet Beth. Similarly, there's at least one dodgy performance from one of the soldiers and there's not quite enough in the way of conflict once the nature of the threat is revealed.

Worth seeing?
Flaws aside, Salvage is an enjoyably tense horror flick with an original script and terrific performances from McIntosh and Dooley. Worth seeing.

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Salvage (18)
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Content updated: 13/12/2017 20:27

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