Basement - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DANNY Dyer is nothing if not prolific and dependable in a really bad kind of way. Basement, one of 11 films he has made this year, continues the actor’s terrible streak of picking dud roles.
The film marks the feature film debut of co-writer and director Asham Kamboj and is a psychological ‘chiller’ that follows five friends as they become lost in an underground basement and stalked by an unseen prey.
Unfortunately, it’s a poorly conceived and wretchedly scripted pot-boiler that feels interminable even at 76 minutes!
Dyer is joined by Jimi Mistry, Emily Beecham, Kierston Wareing and Lois Winstone as one of five friends who find themselves trapped, after a quick stop off in the woods to answer the call of nature proves disastrous.
But as they wonder through the dark corridors, bickering about their predicament and looking for a way out, it becomes apparent that one of them knows more about the situation than is letting on.
Kamboj, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ewen Glass, attempts to combine stalk and slash elements with a contemporary backdrop that explores anti-war resentment in the UK and its potential impact upon the soldiers fighting current campaigns.
But his film never comes close to having anything important or thought-provoking to say, courtesy of a banal script that’s more content to spout lines such as “no one kicks me in the bollocks and gets away with it” and “it’s doing my nut in”.
None of the characters are worth rooting for, the action is so poorly lit that you can’t see anything, and too much time is spent going around in circles with little or nothing in the way to drive the story forward.
The low budget feel does sometimes work in films of this nature, by serving to create an extra element of authenticity, but Kamboj’s pedestrian direction and the lacklustre performances lend Basement the feel of a film that’s never plausible or realistic.
A rushed and poorly executed ending, meanwhile, merely heightens the frustration surrounding the whole endeavour, leaving you with the feeling that you really have been wasting your time.
With little or nothing to recommend it, The Basement is best left locked away from anyone’s viewing radar.
Editor’s note: Basement will be available in cinemas and on Sky Box Office, FilmFlex, iTunes, Playstation and LoveFilm from August 20, 2010, and on DVD from August 23, 2010.
Running time: 76mins
UK DVD Release Date: August 23, 2010