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October 2010

Basement

cast: Danny Dyer, Kierston Wareing, Emily Beecham, Jimi Mistry, and Lois Winstone

director: Asham Kamboj

73 minutes (15) 2010
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Revolver DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
review by Mark West

Basement

Gary (Danny Dyer) is the son of a serviceman who died in the Afghan War. We are expected to believe that he's of college age, where he's involved in anti-war demonstrations with Pru (Emily Beecham), Sarah (Kierston Wareing), and Saffron (Lois Winstone). Along with Pru's boyfriend Derek (Jimi Mistry), they find themselves in some woods, discover a tunnel and decide to go down it. Locked in, they quickly realise that they're not alone and then they decide to split up, to try and find the exit.

This is terrible movie and it amazes me, with the British film industry in its current parlous state, that something this dreadful could get made. Even worse, it has eight credited executive producers, three producers, and three associate producers - surely at least one of them could have slapped his head and said, 'seriously, lads; are we really going to go ahead with this?'

The story takes forever to get going, flirts with being supernatural (at one point, Pru says - with an admirably straight face - that she thinks her dead twin sister is behind everything that's going on) and then becomes something else altogether, tying neatly into the first sequence with (Professor, no less) Christopher Ellison's lecture on stem-cell research but making no sense whatsoever. In fact, when you realise what it's all about, you're not likely to say 'oh right, I see' but 'really? 73 minutes of my life has been wasted on this?'

The acting varies from so-so to bloody awful (in other words, Kierston Wareing down to Jimi Mistry, who seems to think he's working in some kind of broad farce), the direction is perfunctory and sometimes it's so dark that you can't really see what's going on. The set design is good, but every corridor looks exactly the same and after a while, it reminded me of The Crystal Maze, with the contestants pretending to run in a space no bigger than the average living room.

That's it really, there's nothing else that can be said. If you really have 73 minutes of your life to waste, why not go out for a walk and enjoy the countryside. If you are a Danny Dyer completist, then you'll probably have to watch it but might have to shout at him when you next see him in the bookies or the pub. In fact, thinking about it, the only way this film could be any worse would be if Uwe Boll had directed it.

Thankfully, there were no extras on my screener copy.



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