Comedown (2012)

It’s fun getting high…but the comedown is a killer.

Writer: Steven Kendall
Director: Menhaj Huda

Comedown is set one of the poorer, less pleasant parts of London. The story begins with Lloyd (Jacob Anderson) returning home after spending three months in prison. He meets up with his pregnant girlfriend Jem (Sophie Stuckey) and the rest of his peer group. When a friend asks them to help break into a condemned tower block to set up a pirate radio relay, the group decide it’s a great idea and they’ll turn it into a party.

Except, of course, the Mercy Point tower block isn’t as deserted as they think and someone there decides to kill the group off.

Comedown is very much a film of two parts. For the first half hour almost nothing happens – yet this was the section I enjoyed most. Although slow in terms of plot it worked really well in terms of developing the characters and their situation. Most of the characters weren’t very sympathetic but they were at least interesting which puts Comedown head and shoulders above many other slasher movies. The film showed their lifestyle without either glamorising or pitying it, the nature of inner city existence for poor, uneducated young people is well captured. One word of warning: the characters use heavy London accents and speech patterns, so if your only exposure to London English is Dick van Dyke then you could have trouble following the dialogue.

Once the gang breaks into the tower block, the film starts going downhill. It’s very well made with intense atmosphere and a relentless, depressing grimness I appreciated. But it quickly turns into just yet another slasher. The killer’s identity is obvious, so as usual with such films the only question is which if any of the characters will survive.

I really wish that Kendall had found something new to do with the story, but he didn’t. The result is that Comedown is a very well made teen slasher that promises much but is ultimately just another teen slasher.