Brisk, brutal and effective – that describes the shocker opening of “The Disappearance of Alice Creed.” Two men fortify a nondescript British apartment so it can serve as a prison, and then kidnap a woman and tie her to a bed. Before there’s even time to react, we’re plunged into a very nasty situation – but not a simple one.
The brilliance of J Blakeson’s debut lies in how it parses out information and ratchets up the stakes with every scene. Who are these two men? Why have they kidnapped Alice? What is their relationship to each other, and to her? Each leap to the next answer reveals new pieces of the puzzle but complicates the overall picture. And even when the players are known, there are still new surprises in store.
The main surprise – relief, really – is that this is not the latest example of torture porn disguised as entertainment. Working from his own carefully honed script, Blakeson is after something rarer: a thriller that’s both frightening and deeply satisfying. At the heart of its twists and jolts is an understanding of how real people act in desperate situations. Vic (Eddie Marsan) is hard and remorseless, but his dominance over the younger Danny (Martin Compston) turns out to be shaky. And although Alice (Gemma Arterton) is terrorized by the plight she wakes up to, her feral intelligence takes over and shifts the balance of power again. [Synopsis provided by TIFF]
The story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend–and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
The second entry in an ambitious, dark, and thrilling trilogy of interlinking films set in Yorkshire in the 1970s and 80s. 1980: The “Ripper” has tyrannized Yorkshire for six long years and with the local police failing to make any progress, the Home Office sends in Manchester officer Peter Hunter to review the investigation. Having previously made enemies in the Yorkshire force while investigating a shooting incident in 1974, Hunter finds himself increasingly isolated when his version of events challenges their official line on the “Ripper”. [Synopsis courtesy of distributor]
After the Evil Queen marries the King, she performs a violent coup in which the King is murdered and his daughter, Snow White, is taken captive. Almost a decade later, a grown Snow White is still in the clutches of the Queen. In order to obtain immortality, The Evil Queen needs the heart of Snow White. After Snow escapes the castle, the Queen sends the Huntsman to find her in the Dark Forest.
The story of Joseph a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph’s life spirals into turmoil a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own with devastating results on both of their lives.
Anna Welles lives in a tiny apartment in London since her husband left her. Encouraged by her daughter to move on, she attends singles party events on occasion. One night she does meet a man and goes home with him. The next morning Anna crosses paths with detective Bernie Reid who is called to the scene of a brutal murder that took place in the high-rise she is leaving. Going through the motions of the case, Bernie can’t get this woman out of his mind. He tracks her down and follows her to a singles party where finally they meet. The mutual attraction is instant, although Anna has no recollection of Bernie, nor of the morning they first met. As clues start to point towards Anna’s involvement in the murder Bernie’s professional judgement battles with his desire for intimacy and a mystery deep within Anna’s mind finally unravels. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival]
Architect Walter Stackhouse (Patrick Wilson), crime novelist by night, is quite unhappily married to Clara (Jessica Biel), a successful real estate saleswoman. As Walter becomes fascinated by the case of Melchior Kimmel, a bookstore owner in New Jersey suspected of murdering his wife Helen, he begins to imagine what it might be like to murder his own wife. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]