Tower Block is a pretty formulaic thriller where the residents of a tower block are terrorised by an unknown sniper. There aren’t many twists and the only suspense really is generated by wondering who’s going to get killed next. It is reasonably obvious from the beginning who is going to make it and who the sniper is. It this were a Hollywood movie it would be terrible but there is something about the gritty edge and sense of realism that I get from a British movie (I know I am British and therefore probably biased) that makes it more enjoyable viewing.
Basically the plot is that a group of tennants in council flats are waiting to be re-housed before their block is torn down to make way for something else. Who cares what, it is not important to the plot. These tennants witness the killing of a teenager and then refuse to speak to the police about the incident. 3 months later someone starts picking them off with a rifle. I’ll give you 2 guesses as to who is doing the shooting, congratulations you got it right! So they try several different ways to get out of the building losing one or two of their members on each attempt until they finally hit on a strategy that seems to be better than the rest. I won’t completely spoil it by telling you whether anyone manages to escape or not, after all that’s really the only suspense in this film.
The cast of this film is like a who’s who of British movies, TV drama and sitcoms that I have been watching recently. Sheridan Smith I know from Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and also Jonathan Creek. Russell Tovey I’ve recently seen in Being Human and Grabbers. Julie Graham plays the incredibly annoying Abby Grant in the BBC remake of Survivors which is in no way as good as the original. Jack O’Connell plays almost exactly the same character that he plays in Seasons 3, 4 and apparently 7 of Skins. Ralph Brown is in The Last Train although that is pushing the definition of recently a bit! Christopher Fulford was also in the recent version of Survivors.
The sniper seems to be almost super human in his speed and accuracy. OK, not every shot in his opening salvo is a headshot but he is covering about 15 different apartments and has no indication of which one his next target is going to be in and yet every time a curtain is so much as twitched he seems to be perfectly lined up to take a shot and they are most often fatal. This happens so often that I was convinced for a while that there must be multiple snipers.
When the group try climbing down from the roof (why oh why didn’t they try to go from one of the apartments on the other side of the building where the climb would be shorter and they would be shielded by the building) they use a fire hose as a rope, obviously having watched Die Hard too many times as kids. The sniper shoots at the hose where it goes up over the wall. As they have previously said that the nearest building is a quarter of a mile away, the shooter must be on something much higher up than their building and should probably be able to take out anyone on the far side of the roof from him. Instead he takes potshots at a 3 inch wide strip of fire hose.