Review by James Lindorf
Unstoppable Entertainment and Vertical Entertainment bring you the latest from Director Suzi Ewing and Writer Noel Clarke. 10X10 is an intense thriller centered around the kidnapping of Cathy (Kelly Reilly). Lewis (Luke Evans), an outwardly ordinary man, secretly harbors an intense obsession with Cathy. Kidnapping her in broad daylight, Lewis takes her to his home, locks her in a 10×10 soundproof cell, and repeatedly asks only one question: What is your name? You can find out the answer to that question, and many more, on Friday, April 13th.
I would liken this film to a drag race; a slow build up, then lots of sound and fury, and its over before you know it. With a runtime of just 88 minutes, the film doesn’t overstay its welcome and gives you everything you could want from a film of this style. I honestly wish it was longer, to extend the interrogation scenes a little. I think 100 minutes may have been the perfect length, if they’d had the material to fill that space.
I think Evans did a good job in the film, but Reilly is the real standout. It’s important they both gave good performances, as it is only the two of them for 80 of the 88 minutes. If they couldn’t bring it, viewers would feel trapped, just like Cathy. I do think it would have been fun to see this movie play out with someone who typically plays the nice guy in films. Evans is very talented, but his characters are usually more intense or braggadocios. I think someone more mild-mannered may have added an extra layer to the film.
I did not like the music in this film. I found its collection of random tones and beats to be distracting and poorly matched to what was going on in the movie. What I did like was all the other sound design. Whoever did it, cranked it to 12. The sound really adds to the tension and how immersive the film is. Whether it is the sound of a gun being loaded, fists pounding on a padded wall, or numerous screams, everything pulls you deeper into the story of captor and captive.
Another thing that added to the film’s tension was its location. A beautiful home and its cell act as the sole setting for all but the first few minutes. The beauty and simplicity of the home contrast exquisitely with the ugliness of Lewis’ activities. The choice of setting was also a smart budgeting move because it is an actual home, not a set. The construction of the house was even featured on an episode of the famous British series, Grand Designs.
I enjoyed this film. It wasn’t perfect, but it was entertaining. It had enough substance to make for a good conversation between my wife and I. I don’t think you can ask for much more than that from any movie.
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