I love English movies. I love their distinct sense of humor, tragedy, and a great selection of versatile actors. The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a highly engaging minimalist thriller with an intense atmosphere. Efficient and effective, it’s drenched in neo-noir vibes. We will be following two criminals who kidnap a daughter of a wealthy man and demand ransom. However, as you could probably guess, things are about to get tricky. The opening four minutes of the movie follow the meticulous preparations for this crime.
And right away you can sense that The Disappearance of Alice Creed is going to be a movie worth watching. The way the camera moves and creates energy, the way the editing carries that energy over to the next scene, and finally, the way these two actors are absolutely nailing their roles is nothing short of miraculous. A definition of the old movie rule: show, don’t tell. This is a movie that’s here to tell a story. A story about the disappearance of Alice Creed, nothing more and nothing less.
Apart from our two main criminals played by Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan, we also have beautiful Gemma Arterton. Her roles in Quantum of Solace and Prince of Persia accentuated her looks and not her acting abilities. Here, she’s able to show us the full range of her acting abilities. While looking stunning mind you. And you can bet your ass that Martin and Eddie also gave excellent performances. And they had to since the entire movie rests on their shoulders.
Vic and Danny spent several grueling days preparing for a crime. They carefully attended to every little detail, hoping that the kidnapping of a young girl they intend to hold for ransom is going to go down smoothly. Right now, they’re in a white van wearing ski masks and waiting for Alice to come out of her flat. What happens next is going to set all three of them on a path they couldn’t have imagined. A very dangerous path…
If you don’t have much money to make your movie, make sure to keep things tight and minimalist. The Dissapearance of Alice Creed does exactly this and can be used as an example for young filmmakers on how to make a great movie on a budget. You have one location, three actors, and one hell of a script to work with. And sometimes that’s all you need. So, I can’t wait to see what the director and writer of this movie, J Blakeson does next. It’s fascinating how raw and impactful the scenes are here. At first, the intriguing preparation for the kidnapping makes you feel like you’re watching just another crime movie.
But when they grab her, the mood changes into nasty and downright evil with perverse subelements. Also, you can feel just how committed to this task everyone is. However, Gemma was especially committed as she didn’t want to use a body double for that nude scene. She wanted to feel vulnerable and to convey that feeling to us, the viewers. And convey it she did. I also kept thinking about how complementary Martin and Eddie were. This duet certainly wouldn’t work if you replaced Martin Compston with let’s say Sean Harris.
Although that would be your dream team or I should better say your worst nightmare. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like this, check out The Cottage.
Director: J Blakeson
Writer: J Blakeson
Cast: Martin Compston, Eddie Marsan, Gemma Arterton
Fun Facts: Apparently the original ending of the movie was much darker but was changed last minute.