Disappearance of Alice Creed, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston, Gemma Arterton. Suspense drama. Written & directed by J. Blakeson.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Two English blokes kidnap a woman for ransom. While waiting for the money we discover that not all is as it seems. Soon, double- and triple-crosses occur, causing their foolproof plan to descend into a desperate mess.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Damsels-in-distress has been a major theme in movies since the silent era. Over the years women have been rescued from dastardly dudes by the likes of Superman, James Bond, and John Wayne. And certainly, Hitchcock knew how to handle the tension and suspense associated with the abduction genre (The Man Who Knew Too Much). But Mr. Hitchcock and others of his time knew that movies were the business of allusion. And when reality becomes dominate in the production, the film can go from suspenseful to disturbing. Thatís the problem with The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Well, one of the problems.

When the woman is first snatched, she is not only tied down to a bed with a bag over her head, but her clothes are removed so that she can be photographed, her naked photos sent to her father for ransom. Through this she is crying. And we are watching it. The reality of a person held captive is that at one point the victim will have to relieve herself. To show their complete dominance over her, they use a hospital urinating bottle, with her still bound to the bed. Again, she begins to cry. And we are still watching.

Had this dehumanization continued, I think I, like only one other couple, would have had to leave. But suddenly the tone switches. The kidnapping becomes not just a double-cross, but a triple-cross. Dark humor is injected. While Iím sure the filmmakers thought the added dimension of a triple cross, with slightly twisted humor added would hold audience attention, it only made the proceedings unbelievable and even less tasteful.

And lastly, though I think other reviewers will add to the list of disappointments of Aliceís disappearance, my main problem is that I never got to like any of the characters. Understandably, weíre not going to like abductors, but I found the kidnappee as despicable as the kidnappers. And then thereís the language. Just a couple of ďJesusĒ ís thrown about to indicate they are not respecters of mankindís Savior, but there are also nearly 60 uses of the f-word.

If I were an actor, I donít think I could be a part of such a production because there would always be that concern that something I did on screen might connect with a sicko. The whole process is grimy, and honestly I canít understand why anyone would sit through the first act with this poor lady being forced out of her clothes, slapped and generally humiliated.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around 60 uses of the f-word and around ten other obscenities.

Profanity: I caught two misuses of Christís name.

Violence: The violence includes the abducting and dehumanizing of a young woman and two people getting shot and killed. Blood: Blood from gunshot wounds

Sex: One sexual situation

Nudity: They strip her naked; we see a man naked from the rear.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: The men drink beer in one scene and twice give a knock-out drug to the girl.

Other: We see a man vomit and a woman is forced to urinate while bound to a bed.

Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: I'm not sure.

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.