Friday, 19 February 2016

the cutting room

the cutting room is a british found footage film about three teenage media students tasked with making a documentary by their college tutor, himself a failed filmmaker. in addition, the tutor asks them to document the filmmaking process, hence the perfect set-up for a found footage film. the students decide to tackle cyberbullying as their subject matter but their investigation soon leads them into dangerous territory.

from the opening minutes the cutting room looks as though it's going to be a rather grim torture porn movie set in a creepy location. there is a sub-genre of horror that i'll call location-inspired horror, where the filmmakers have found a cool location and decided to set an entire film there. thankfully, that's not the case here. writer/director warren dudley instead spends time developing the characters and the story first, pulling back on the horror until the last possible moment and this really pays off.

the three main characters, charlie (lucy-jane quinlan), jess (lydia orange) and raz (parry glasspool) are all really likable and the cast do a great job making them feel real. there's a perfect naivety in the script and the performances that makes it totally believable that these characters would plunge themselves into a highly dangerous situation without fully considering the consequences. there's a great scene where the three are discussing possible topics for their documentary and it really reminded me of working on similar college projects myself without any thought of the practicalities.

the investigation into cyberbullying and one case in particular is actually the most enjoyable portion of the film and there's a nice balance between showing that these kids have no idea what they're doing and also having them make some genuine progress. at the same time there's a sense of constant creeping terror as they move closer to the truth, or at perhaps the truth moves closer to them. all this builds to a third act finale where full use is made of the aforementioned creepy location.

the cutting room perhaps isn't as innovative or ambitious as some of the films i've reviewed recently, but it is a well-produced and effective horror film bolstered by a talented cast and an interesting location so it's definitely worth seeing.

the found footage blogathon will run throughout february in which time i plan to review as many films as possible and maybe throw in a few extras as well. if you'd like to be involved and post your own content, send me a link via twitter with the tag #foundfootageblogathon. i'll retweet your link and will include it in a summary post at the end of the month. you can find a full list of the films i'll be reviewing here.

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