If I’m honest I wasn’t expecting much from Arjun Rose’s urban slasher film. Maybe that’s because of the title, maybe the fact I’d never heard of it despite it’s relatively high profile maybe its because the film boasts ‘Tulisa off of N-Dubz’ and ‘Reggie Yates off of Radio One’ as members of it’s supporting cast.
The main issue isn’t the cast members, its more that the film doesn’t know what it wants to be. In the first half we’re introduced to a number of teens at a London comprehensive who are in the process of making a suicide pact. Despite the casts’ best efforts I don’t believe for one second that any of these kids seriously wants to commit suicide and lightness of touch with which the subject is handled is incredibly off putting or at worst offensive. No where is this more evident than in the soundtrack. Full with the latest in ‘cool’ British alternative music from the likes of Chase and Status and Ed Sheeran, it hints at a far more hedonistic and relaxed youth culture than is actually on display. I’m not saying I don’t like this music but its use in the film is completely out of place with the subject matter. When a group of teens are getting ready to go out for the evening to get together and discuss their collective suicide, ‘You need me, I don’t need you’ by Ed Sheeran may not be best choice of track.
While the suicide aspect of the film doesn’t work the film makers attempt to fix the issue by switching genres entirely half way through from ‘teen suicide drama’ to ‘urban slasher film’ as an unknown masked assailant begins to pick off the kids one by one. Whether the fact that the characters concerned wanted to die before they started being murdered renders the entire plot irrelevant or provides a nice bit of dramatic irony depends on your outlook but for me it was probably the former. While Rose tries his best to inject some innovation to proceedings by shooting the obligatory ‘creep around the huge house in the dark’ scene towards the end in the style of a found footage/blair witch rip off, the slasher potion of the film is still incredibly formulaic and contains some fantastic clichés that would make Randy from Scream proud. We even get a moment when the popular girl, hosting the party, runs away from the knife wielding murder, not into the well lit room full of teenagers playing twister but instead decides to hide in the pitch black wooded area behind her house.
Through the genre mashing mess the only Robert Sheehan (aka Nathan from Misfits) comes out relatively unscathed but you can’t help but wonder, did you really leave Misfits for this?
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.