Monday, 23 May 2011


"Sometimes straightforward plots are the most effective - an alcoholic teacher has to save his estranged daughter when a group of hooded youths attack their school at night - that’s pretty much it for Johannes Roberts enthusiastic horror outing. Starring David Schofield, Eliza Bennett and Ruth Gemmell, F comes on like a cross between Eden Lake and Hollyoaks, but does it make the grade or will it be staying on after class for detention?

Johannes Roberts has delivered a short, sharp, snappy ride that oozes tension from every pore. The murderous teens remain faceless throughout, stalking their prey like hooded ninja’s. They might get a ‘D’ in English, but when it comes to Physical Education they’re right up there with Jackie Chan.

Performances are solid, if not spectacular, despite the fact that these soulless creations leave little to root for. Schofield’s Anderson has no redeeming qualities whatsoever; he even slaps his own daughter, making it hard to get behind a character so undeniably weak. It’s a worthwhile performance though, one that’s in tune with the bleak nature of the premise.

Quite what happens next is anybody’s guess. Either Roberts ran out of money or the school secretary wanted her typewriter back, because F comes to a cataclysmic halt just as things are getting interesting. Perhaps I missed the deeper meaning, but F provides no answers, no retribution and precious little reward for your tolerance. The film is left wide open in the most ludicrous manner, begging for a frantic final third that never comes.

The hunters are no less human than their prey, but Roberts cranks up the tension with considerable ease. If you can overlook the abrupt ending F almost makes the grade, but never before have the words ‘must try harder’ seemed quite so appropriate."

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