01st Jun2015

‘Hungerford’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Drew Casson, Tom Scarlett, Georgia Bradley, Sam Carter, Mark Cusack, Matthew Jackson, Nigel Morgan, Colin Murtagh, Kitty Speed | Written by Drew Casson, Jess Cleverly | Directed by Drew Casson

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The lives of a group of teenagers are turned upside down when their town is taken over by sinister forces, in this deconstruction of toxic masculinity in the modern day world… Hahaha, nope. Hungerford is just another cheap found footage zombie film!

Hungerford impresses me on one level, because of it’s production cost. From start to finish, the film cost £23,000 to make and still found time to include some half decent CG and models created by Aardman, which shows what is possible if you truly put your mind to it. It’s just a shame the rest of the film is so aggressively mediocre. The kind of mediocre that irritated me and made me end up disliking the film more than it deserves.

The plot is an interesting mix of alien invasion and zombie story with added found footage gimmick. Four teenagers who live in the small town of Hungerford outside of London discover that local residents are suddenly acting strange, either killing themselves or attacking people for no reason. From then on, things slowly escalate until our two heroes find themselves as the only ones unaffected, trying to escape and warn the outside world.

Hungerford is essentially a standard cheap indie film that uses found footage as it’s conceit. With that comes the many, many problems that I have with the genre; cheap digital effects, acting that ranges from wooden to Dick Van Dyke, and a part of the film where you starting asking yourself why, or how, the main characters would still be filming. Added to this, the fact that many of the people working on the film had had no experience before, means that problems that are normally at least ignorable flare up a lot more and are far less competently done.

It was a nice, though I think unintentional, touch that it was male bravado that doomed the world. Especially when you consider that teenagers tend to rather stupid and impulsive at the best of times, (and before people take offence, I was one only a few years ago – I know these things) it’s no wonder that a set of piss heads still recovering from last nights session don’t think things through clearly and can’t do much to help at all other than make things worse.

But that’s going off on a tangent. Overall, I really can’t even recommend Hungerford as belonging to the ‘so bad it’s good category’. It’s just average at best. As a first crack at a feature it’s a valiant effort and I look forward to seeing what the writers and directors do in the future. But should it be getting the attention it does in international circles and be winning awards? Will I remember it in six months? Not in the slightest.

Hungerford is available on VOD now.

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