(director/writer: Julus Berg; screenwriters: Mathieu Gompel/Geoff Cox/based on the graphic novel “Une Nuit de Pleine Lune” by Yves H. and Hermann Huppen; cinematographer: David Ungaro; editor: Marc Boucrot; music: Paul Frazer, Vincent Welch; cast: Maisie Williams (Mary/Jayne), Sylvester McCoy (Richard Huggins), Rita Tushingham (Ellen Huggins), Andrew Ellis (Terry), Jake Curran (Gaz), Ian Kenny (Nathan), Stacha Hicks (Jean); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Alain de la Mata/Christopher Granier-Deferre; RLJE Films; 2020-UK)

“Both veteran actors, Tushingham and McCoy, provide solid performances for such an unpleasant film.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

It’s a home-invasion thriller loosely based onthe French graphic novel “Une Nuit de Pleine Lune” by the Belgian father-and-son team of Yves H. and Hermann Huppen. It’s directed by first-timer Jules Berg, a TV director, and is overwritten by Berg, Mathieu Gompel and Geoff Cox.

On a British country hillside three thuggish looking young men are in a car
staking out the mansion of a well-to-do elderly couple. They are the awkward follower Terry (Andrew Ellis), whose mum works there as a housekeeper; the amiable Nathan (Ian Kenny), who borrowed the car from his girlfriend Mary (Maisie Williams); and Gaz (Jake Curran), the unhinged bad guy leader. When Mary takes her bike to meet the boys during their stakeout, she reluctantly enters the house with them though telling them the robbery is a bad idea.

When the boys can’t pry open the basement safe’s combination lock, they decide wait for the elderly couple, Dr. Huggins (
Sylvester McCoy) and his wife Ellen (Rita Tushingham), to come home and believe they can force them to open the safe.

The film’s most comical moment has
Ellen blurting to one of the vile boys, “I think somebody didn’t get enough spanking when he was little!” .

The couple appear to be timid and polite, but they soon take control of the situation and have the advantage.

Things are breezy in the first half of the film, but in the second half things turn unconvincingly violent and absurd. In the end we learn secrets about the doctor’s past that explain why he’s not frightened.

The only likable character is played by
Maisie Williams. Both veteran actors, Tushingham and McCoy, provide solid performances for such an unpleasant film.

REVIEWED ON 9/11/2020  GRADE: C+