Genre: Found Footage, Horror.
Starring: Parry Glasspool, Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Lydia Orange, TJ Herbert, Jason Rhodes, Mkaya Carrigan, Louisa Adams.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 15 (UK) PG-13 (US)
Runtime: 76 Minutes
Director: Warren Dudley
Synopsis: “College students Raz, Charlie and Jess are about to start work on their end of year Media Studies project… unaware of a malevolent force lurking deep below their sleepy town. A recent wave of apparent Cyberbullying and the disappearance of two local girls lead the group to an abandoned army barracks situated deep in the forests that surround the college. What they find there is a terrifying labyrinth of tunnels from which there seems no escape… and a dark figure hell bent on tormenting them. Hunted, frightened and lost, Raz, Charlie and Jess must now escape the barracks or suffer the unspeakable fate that awaits them.” IMDB
I always go in to Horror films very apprehensive, I have been burnt so many times over the years, that being said I am a huge lover of the genre especially the found-footage subgenre. So when director Warren Dudley got in touch with me on Twitter and offered me the chance to review his upcoming film of that genre I jumped on the chance.
Firstly let me start with the story, the film was very well written, writer and director Warren Dudley did a great job at building suspense and making you feel very uneasy. I really enjoyed how there wasn’t an attempt at twists and turns every so often to try and disorientate the viewer, also the use of comedy at times to keep the viewer calm really helps when the scares come. There is one scare that really stands out, that I can guarantee will leave you panting for a good few seconds. A nice combination of humour and feat leave you wanting to watch more from the team, I really hope this isn’t the last Horror Mr Dudley does. From a nice slowly paced Horror in the third act, the film really kicks up a gear with a twist you will not see coming, an ending that will stick with you for a while, it was on my mind for a good few days.
The acting is so much better than I expected, no offence intended to the leading three of Parry Glasspool, Lucy-Jane Quinlan and Lydia Orange, I have just found in recent years Horror directors go for the cheapest option possible in Horror. However, all three were great in their roles, by no means are their performances say Oscar worthy, that being said, they really do get to showcase their acting talent. Especially for three people in their early 20s (educated guessing sorry), they are better than some of the more experienced people you see in the genre. Not solely down to the actors themselves the writing helped a lot, but the characters are so likeable you find yourself routing for them to survive, they were truly convincing as a group of friends
The use of gore is absolutely disgusting, but in a good way, not overly used, but when used you will scrunch up your face because it nasty but really conveys what was intended. It is great to see a film that isn’t heavily reliant on gore, just uses it when they really need too. Speaking of being not reliant on modern tropes of the genre, I was pleasantly surprised at how somebody today made a Horror film without showing nudity, feels like everything in the genre is sold on boobs. This time around the director relied on his ability to write a great script and pacing it well enough to the point that you realise a lot of the modern tropes are unnecessary.
The use of locations in the film were great choices, most of us, if not all of us are familiar with the constraints of project work in school so the entire premise of the film was relatable which I loved. A fair amount of the filming took place in Newhaven Fort in the Southern part of England, the use of the fort was genius, I like many suffer from severe claustrophobia, so the dark, tight and never ending tunnels really got to me. Making the film incredibly uncomfortable, but in a great way which I do not get very often.
Overall, the film was a great watch, plus has the bonus of being British which for me adds the proud factor to the film. In recent months I have seen the likes of “As Above, So Below” and “The Pyramid” which I imagine “The Cutting Room” was made for an absolute fraction of the price, yet manages to completely blow the two out of the water. The Cutting Room is easily one of the best British Horror films in the past 15 years, I’d personally put it up there with “Dog Soldiers”, “28 Days Later” and “Eden Lake”. I sincerely hope this film isn’t slept on due to it being a British indie Horror, I enjoyed it more than I did a lot of the huge budget Hollywood Horrors in recent years, I implore my readers immensely to get their hands on a copy. Truly a low-budget diamond, shining in genre packed with mediocrity. Pre-order yours NOW on Amazon here!