Movie Ramblings: Comedown


Comedown is a British horror movie set in a dilapidated London tower block. It is similar in many ways to Tower Block, Citadel and Attack the Block. It has the gritty grimy horror of Citadel and the gang violence and mentality of Tower Block and Attack. That said this is its own film with its own vibe and you don’t often feel like you are watching a copy of another movie.

Lloyd is a young gang member who has just got out of prison where he has been for 3 months for an unspecified offence. He reunites with his gang of “friends” and his pregnant girlfriend and they break into their old home in the derelict tower block to earn some money from a pirate radio station by setting up a transmitter on the top. Of course they also use the excuse to have a drugged up party blissfully unaware that there is a psycho killer in the flats bent on killing them all.

Being a British film about inner city kids there’s plenty of the usual gang-related violence and macho bullshit posturing that pervades these films. This gets pretty tiresome after a while and you start to wonder why any of these people hang around with each other out of choice. As circumstances force them together (and apart again) very few of them reveal much in the way of redeeming characteristics.

Some standard gang-based posturing to get everyone in the mood before the proper killing starts
Some standard gang-based posturing to get everyone in the mood before the proper killing starts

This is obviously a very well-worn genre and there certainly isn’t anything new to add to the lone psycho killer with a vendetta story in this movie. However it does the usual things quite well. The visuals are dark, gloomy and dirty just as you would expect in a derelict building at night. The feeling of being enclosed and trapped is palpable. Some of the lighting is a bit odd and it will appear to be daylight in one angle and midnight in the other which is a bit distracting. The gore is well done and mostly nicely understated which is a nice change from a lot of the more over the top films in this genre.

Slightly disappointingly, the killer degenerates into a psychotic and sadistic torturer which actually makes things a lot less dramatic than if he stuck to straightforward murder. Still, you are kept guessing for a long time about exactly which of the characters are going to get killed off, there’s no one person who you think straight away that they are going to make it. There’s plenty of the usual, “Why don’t you pick up a weapon?” and “For God’s sake shoot him in the head” type moments which it seems impossible to avoid in these films but are pretty disappointing in this one for some reason.

In a rare moment of sanity the gang have armed themselves. For no apparent reason they have all disappeared about 30 seconds later.

The characters are a bit one dimensional, you don’t really get to know any of them or their back story. You never even find out why Lloyd was in prison. Somewhat like Tower Block, most of the characters are pretty unlikeable but as they start getting persecuted for no apparent reason you start to sympathise with them and transfer your dislike to the killer although there are at least that I was definitely glad when they were permanently removed from proceedings.

Overall, I enjoyed this one a lot more than I was expecting to from the ratings that I have seen it given elsewhere.


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