Red Road

CCTV hits the big screen in this the first of three British (actually set in Scotland) dogma films. Our leading lady Jackie is a camera operator at the local CCTV building where she watches the lives of people happen everyday. At this point we are in classic ‘Rear Window’ voyeurism mode and things tick along slowly until a man Jackie thinks she recognises turns up on her monitor. From here on in it is a tense thriller which leaves you never really knowing what’s going to happen or how it will end as Jackie slowly integrates herself into the friends and company of the mystery man. Its no plot spoiler to say the man in question has just been released from prison, a phone call at the beginning of the film gives us that information, but how he is known by Jackie and why she wants to get closer to him is unfolded as the film progresses. The films title is reference to the block of flats that houses ex-convicts, including the man spotted by Jackie on her screens at work and it is a bleak place, hardly a space left for graffiti in the lifts or streets, the flats are cold and damp with peeling paper. The lives of the inhabitants is fuelled by drink, drugs and cheap sex and with violence never far away you’ll be glad that you are watching it all happen on the screens on your screen. With a creepy soundtrack and a few unseen twists the film breaks free of the slow start to reach a chilling climax. Kate Dickie is superb as the seemingly normal Jackie and Tony Curran is expertly creepy as the man she wants to get to. If this is the first of three then I can’t wait for the second one because ‘Red Road’ is a great little homemade thriller that creeps you out and keeps you guessing right until the end.

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