For a long time it seemed the only mainstream movies Britain ever made were rom-coms and gangster movies. In the last couple of years we’ve added urban thrillers to the mix, which have increasingly tended towards the horror end of the spectrum.
Comedown fits squarely in that bracket. Lloyd (Jacob Anderson) is fresh out of prison and his determination to go straight doesn’t last too long when he teams up with a group of other young people to set up a pirate radio station aerial on a deserted tower block. However the block isn’t as deserted as it appears.
While Lloyd wants to get out of block as quickly as possible, others want to chill out and party, but things soon take a dark turn when people start disappearing. A psychopath is on the loose and hunting them down. It’s not like they can just make a run for it and get out either, as the block has been booby trapped.
As with many recent urban Brit thrillers, there’s a sense that Comedown has been carefully pitched to tick all the boxes of what appears to be commercial, rather than purely concentrating on what would make it a good movie. Almost in spite of this, it manages to be pulse-pounding fun as the Brit urban thriller meets the slasher flick.
Although it’s mainly just a bunch of stock characters who it’s difficult to get too invested in, the kills are good and the psycho is intriguing. They do try to explain at the end why he’s gone nuts, but it’s not entirely convincing (and the less charitable would say it demonises those with mental health issues – even if their issue is that they’ve become a homicidal maniac). It’s all held together by the action and suspense, which comes it fits and starts but works extremely well when it’s on screen.
The ending, while making little sense, is a lot of fun, with some ingenious action scenes and plenty of horror nastiness. It doesn’t add up to an awful lot, but Comedown makes for an entertaining enough 90 minutes that’d be a decent watch after a few pints down the pub. We are seeing diminishing returns in terms of entertainment from these urban thrillers, but Comedown just about succeeds.
Overall Verdict: Although many of these Brit urban thrillers are getting a bit tiring, Comedown has enough pace and action to make it worth a watch, even if it won’t live in your memory for too long after it’s over.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac