THRILLER; 1hr 40min
STARRING: Gemma Arterton, Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston
Banged up: Arterton
Strung as tight as a trip wire, The Disappearance of Alice Creed opens with two unremarkable looking men soundproofing and fortifying a shabbily empty English flat. They work in the synchronised silence of the obsessively rehearsed, and their imprisonment of millionaire’s daughter Alice Creed (Arterton) in their purpose-built facility is just as coldly and efficiently done.
But with Alice gagged, hooded, bound and handcuffed to a bed, chinks begin to splinter her ex-convict kidnappers’ militaristic veneer. Flinty Victor (Marsan), whose show this looks to be, arrogantly wields the whip with his younger and seemingly weaker link, Danny (Compston). The two men aren’t entirely what they seem, however. And nor is Alice a woman to be messed with.
The tugging undertow and shifting, unguessable alliances in writer-director J (for Jonathan) Blakeson’s ingenious thriller have the hot-button immediacy of a stage play. But there’s nothing stagy about the acting. Each of these three conniving characters is as sharply honed and dangerous as a blade.