Sunday, 5 September 2010

Film Review: BLACKOUT (2007)

Director: Rigoberto Castañeda
Running time: 82 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

German release date: 9th February 2008 (European Film Market)

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 5th September 2010.


I had heard nothing about this film before it came up in the TV listings. I hadn’t even seen it on the shelves of my local DVD store. I read the write-up on the TV and it looked interesting and so I decided to watch it. Not the best film of its type, but still quite a good watch, but more of that later, here’s a brief synopsis.

Three people board an elevator in an old apartment building. It is a holiday weekend and most of the residents have gone away. The elevator rises past the ninth floor and then a power outage leaves it stuck between nine and ten. As time passes we learn about the three occupants. Karl is a surgeon; he has a young daughter and is grieving for his wife who had died tragically. Claudia is asthmatic, a student who is worried about her grandmother who has a terminal illness. Tommy, who has bruised knuckles has come from his girlfriend, Francesca’s house and is in a hurry. They do all the usual things, press the alarm button, open the doors and shout, but to no avail. We are told in flashback the events that led these three to be on this elevator and it makes for some interesting revelations, especially when we discover one particularly gruesome secret that makes one of them very dangerous. But, of course, I’m not going to give that away, so I’ll leave it here.

This is quite a tense claustrophobic drama that unfolds into an exciting thriller in the end. I like the way the back-stories of the three main characters slowly unfold, which adds to the tension. Decent performances from the entire main cast, so honourable mentions go to Amber Tamblyn as Claudia, Aidan Gillen as Karl, Armie Hammer as Tommy and Katie Stuart as Francesca.

This version has a running time of only 82 minutes which, I felt, was just right. Any longer and I think I may have got bored. As I said at the beginning, it’s not the best film of its type, but having said that, I did find it quite entertaining and pretty gruesome in places. So, it’s not one for the feint hearted, but quite an interesting film none the less. Recommended.

My score: 6.3/10

IMDb Site:

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