SCAR TISSUE

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Scar Tissue Review

REVIEW: SCAR TISSUE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: SCOTT MICHELL / SCREENPLAY: SCOTT MICHEL / STARRING: DANNY HORN, CHARITY WAKEFIELD, KENNETH COLLEY / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 6TH

Scar Tissue is the second outing for filmmaker Scot Michell after 1996's so-so The Innocent Sleep. Directed from his own script, Scar Tissue is cut from the same cloth as Alex Chandon’s Cradle of Fear: underfunded, overacted and largely forgettable. That’s not to say Scar Tissue isn’t without its merits, but its flaws overwhelm an otherwise interesting idea.

The film joins a roster of low-budget British crime chillers, though its influences, which it wears on its sleeves, are from further afield, with nods to Saw and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in particular. Scar Tissue does seem to live in its own world, as no specific location is given, and even the D.I. is touting a pistol.

The plot is rather cunning, seeming to offer a murder in the style of Edward Jansen, a child-killer who bears an uncanny resemblance to League of Gentlemen’s campy Herr Lipp. It then appears to unfold into a killer that can’t be killed story, joining slasher stalwarts and marketing magnets Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers et al. But, by the time the veil is lifted, it’s genuinely an unexpected and welcomed surprise.

The acting is largely unconvincing, though Shaun Dingwell (Doctor Who, Dragon Age: Origins) as Snowden decked out like The X-Files’ Deep Throat is entertaining. Pathologist Mo, played by Imogen Bain, in a role begging to be filled by Dawn French, is another example of a badly written straw feminist and stereotypical lesbian. Charity Wakefield sports a Ramona Flowers hairdo as Sam. While Wakefield doesn’t offer a particularly subtle performance, the best scenes are the ones when she’s on screen, usually opposite the largely unsympathetic, seemingly good-guy Luke.

At times Scar Tissue is desperate to appear noir, with Snowden in long black trench coat smoking a cigarette in the shadows, but ends up being a parody of a police procedural. Mark Cameron, who’s played coppers in every other British crime show, is turned up to 11 as D.I. Hackman, spouting misogynist and homophobic sound-bites you wouldn’t want your Nan to hear.

The film spends far too long in the strip-cum-fetish club (three times to be precise), giving the viewer an eyeful of unnecessary close-ups and lingering shots. Funnily enough, the brutal violence is all directed against women, while the few blokes who do bite the dust get to keep all their clothes on, and die with some dignity.

But the really disappointing thing about Scar Tissue is the fact that during its big reveal it’s really quite gripping and interesting; for seven minutes at least. There was a lot of potential in the plot and it’s a real shame that this isn’t another home-grown success story of a thriller like Shane Meadow’s 2004 Dead Man’s Shoes. If it’s a dark and brooding British crime drama you want, keep with the Beeb or ITV.

Extras: None



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