Meticulous. Taut. Restrained. That's how the plan is set by alpha Vic and naïve Danny to kidnap a woman and hold her ransom for 2 million euros. But it also describes J Blakeson's skillful crafting of his tension-fueled debut—not an easy feat when you have only three characters and two rooms to work with. In one of those rooms is Alice, pulled off the street by Vic and Danny, blindfolded, gagged, and tied to a bed nailed to the floor. The plan is on track, with every detail plotted from the ransom call to Alice's father all the way down to how Alice goes to the bathroom.
Blakeson masterly maneuvers a thriller with the simplest elements, creating his twists and turns by using nuances and subtleties that are far more effective than any special effects. Tension is built through the film's claustrophobic setting and the dynamic between its three characters, impeccably rendered by Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky, Hancock), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen), and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans).