Review: Community / Cert: 15 / Director: Jason Ford / Screenplay: Jason Ford / Starring: Jemma Dallender, Elliott Jordan, Paul McNeilly, Terry Bird / Release Date: Out Now
Another entry into the burgeoning sub-genre of British urban horror, this journey into the grubby world of potheads and feral kids has an interesting angle and amps up the terror without going over the top with gore.
Isabelle (Dallender) is a film student looking to make her mark by highlighting the awful conditions in the run-down Drayman Estate, a forgotten concrete jungle of the type familiar to many of us. Shooting interviews with her cameraman Will (Jordan), she hears stories of the horrors going on there; tales of deprivation, drug abuse and even murder. Of course, this spurs her on to go into the lion's den and see for herself and earn some bonus points on her media course. She has made contact with an old man who is prepared to talk, but when they get there they find out from the not too inviting youths that he has died. They also discover that all the parents on the estate are off their faces on weed which they grow themselves, and the estate is run by a character known as Auntie. Will is understandably keen to leave, but Isabelle is adamant that she must get her money shot of the cannabis crop. Naturally, things get out of hand as the locals (who look as though they have come straight from the Jeremy Kyle green room) are less than welcoming, and even less keen on the pair leaving.
Watching the opening sequence of talking heads you would be forgiven for thinking this is going to go down the found footage route, but fortunately this is not so, and we see only glimpses from Will's camera along the way. Once the pair reach the estate – via the only bus which stops running before sundown – the tension is palpable, and the deeper they delve, the closer they are to danger. The obvious thing would be to get the hell out of Dodge, but, as we soon find out, there is a reason Isabelle isn't so keen on that, so the film gets a pass for stupidity on that account.
The film runs out of steam in the final act, but before it does it manages to tap into the fears we have about Broken Britain and hoodie culture, while also pulling off a few surprises and pointing out some of the clichés of the inner city documentary (“There's a shoe. There's always a shoe.”).