Soulless home-grown horror tries too hard
Another ambitious British attempt at tapping into the ever-elusive horror market (see also My Little Eye, The Hole, Dog Soldiers), director Christopher Smith’s debut sends gutsy fashionista Franka Potente down into the London Underground for a night of terror at the hands of a goofy-looking, prosthetically enhanced mutant skate-boy (Sean Harris). Although Smith is extremely genre-aware and strains to press every horror button (bloodied corpses leaping out of the shadows, false alarms, comic relief terrier surviving carnage), his film comes over as rather empty?like a Scream movie minus the laughs. In fact, bizarrely, it only ever comes to life during a needlessly sadistic and misogynistic torture sequence in which a female junkie is brutalised while strapped into a gynaecological chair. You’ve got to question a movie that’ll bust a gut to keep a cutesy terrier alive for the closing credits but will gloat over the depiction of a woman getting a 22-inch hacksaw shoved up her crotch.