Newest Reviews
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
  Ones Below, The Breaking A Commandment Or TwoBuy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: David Farr
Stars: Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn, Deborah Finlay
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Kate (Clémence Poésy) lives with her husband Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) in the upper level of a two-storey house in London, and they have a blessed event on the way as she is pregnant. Before this happened, she was not even sure she wanted to have children, but as the pregnancy has gone on she is more convinced than ever that she will be the best mother she can. The lower apartment of this house has been empty for some time, but when the couple get back from visiting the hospital for a routine scan they are surprised to see removal men are busying themselves around the place as someone is moving in. Later that week, they notice two pairs of shoes outside the new neighbours' door - should they introduce themselves?

So far, so mundane, but we can tell there is something a little awry here, a little off-kilter, which makes itself increasingly plain as the story draws on. This was the feature debut of screenwriter David Farr, who had previously distinguished himself as the author of cult action flick with teenage girl arrangement Hanna, and would go on to adapt the John Le Carré novel The Night Manager for television, with quite some acclaim. The Ones Below was, as per the title, further below the radar of most of the moviegoing public, though among those who did see it the reaction was generally positive, aside from some grumbling about the way it was wrapped up, but given what style it was in that was understandable.

Essentially, this was one of that thriller subgenre the creepy neighbours yarn, accompanied by another thriller variant, the "they’re driving me crazy!" chiller. Despite some deliberately unsettling revelations, Farr refused to go down the horror route or at least commit to that, so there was no gore and no last act climax where the characters started smashing each other about, which was refreshing seeing as how we had seen quite enough of those sorts of denouements in movies far lazier than this example. A potential flaw that we knew fine well that the main character was sane but put under so much pressure that they eventually snapped was circumvented when that emerged as the point.

The downstairs neighbours were played by David Morrissey and Laura Birn as Jon and Theresa respectively, and they are expecting a baby as well, which initially seems a nice excuse for the couples to bond and socialise. However, there is a scene early on where our unease begins to become concrete as it crystallises in Kate's mind when she and Justin invite their new pals to dinner and they behave a tad... unusually. Not feeling they are in any position to judge, they accept Jon's slightly overbearing interest in Kate's condition and the psychology she might be experiencing, and Theresa's habit of filling up her wineglass a few too many times to be strictly healthy, but then something happens that causes a ruction between the pairs, a sudden burst of over the top mania in the plot.

From then on we start to question Jon and Theresa's actions: was there an accident? Did they deliberately stage this incident? We are never really sure, not even when the end credits are rolling, though we are perfectly clear they had a scheme in mind immediately afterwards which does throw up a bunch of real world solutions for their predicament that could have been far easier to sort out, but then the spectre of madness would not be infecting the characters, and that was the overriding theme. Kate, who gives birth to a bouncing baby boy, gets over this abrupt breaking off of relations with the neighbours, but not for long as they start to inveigle their path back into her life and she's not altogether sure she wants them to be taking such a deep interest in her and her child. This was neatly creepy, the sense of polite concern on the surface masking a pathological need to meddle and control, then ultimately victimise, with an agenda that was plain to see but difficult to prove. This made The Ones Below a cut above your average low budget thriller, nothing shattering, but a decent show. Music by Adem Ilhan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 883 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: