CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: DAVID MARMOR / STARRING: NICOLE BRYDON BLOOM, GILES MATTHEY, TAYLOR NICHOLS, NAOMI GROSSMAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Sarah (Nicole Brydon Bloom) is adamant to make the move to Los Angeles and pursue a career as a fashion designer following her mother’s death. Her relationship with her father is strained due to his admission of having an affair while Mum was on her deathbed. She signs up for an apartment in an exclusive gated community, and while the residents appear a little strange, they are friendly and welcoming. Unfortunately, she’s had to sneak her cat in against the tenancy rules and she’s disturbed at night by some horrendous noises. Her idyllic abode soon becomes much more sinister and nightmarish than she could possibly imagine.
Writer/director David Marmor’s debut feature is an engaging, uneasy reminder that cults are not exclusive to Bible-thumping ‘ministers’. Marmor confidently helms the picture, which draws the viewer in with the pleasant surroundings before delivering some impressive shocks. There’s an air of Rosemary’s Baby, but don’t let this fool you, this film has its own surprises in store. Wrong-footing the audience into thinking something supernatural might be going on, it instead takes us on a journey into the twisted world of the residents of the complex, warning us of conformity living for the sake of the ‘community’. Bloom is fantastic as the young and enthusiastic designer forced to make do with an office job while she finds her feet in LA. She also shows great range while being conditioned her to her surroundings (which includes an intense, wince-inducing moment!) and during the frantic final act. While the twists might be signposted throughout, it’s a surprisingly taut horror thriller in which the monsters are otherwise regular folk.