Opening the same week as Iron Man 2 — which I have yet to see due to my recent travels — The Disappearance Of Alice Creed could easily get overlooked in all the hype surrounding the superhero sequel. But I urge you to seek Alice Creed out in UK cinemas from today. It's a taut and twisty little thriller that belies its low budget and marks the emergence of a shining new filmmaking talent in writer-director J Blakeson.
Two men (Eddie Marsen and Martin Compston) kidnap Gemma Arterton's eponymous Alice and hold her hostage in an specially prepared room. Then the fun really begins, as a simple kidnapping is slowly undone by a succession of narrative u-turns and character revelations that transforms the power dynamic within the room shifting and builds towards a tense, gripping climax that finally makes some sense of the title.
Blakeson, making his feature debut after several praiseworthy shorts, confidently holds the film together with bold strokes and an assured sense of style — the dialogue-free opening sequence is particularly impressive — making the maximum use of his limited locations and minimal cast, all of whom are terrific.