27th Oct2020

Frightfest 2020: ‘The World We Knew’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Struan Rodger, Finbar Lynch, Johann Myers, Kirk Lake, Philip Hancock, Simon Rhodes, Alexander Wells, Mat Hardy | Written by Matthew Benjamin Jones, Kirk Lane | Directed by Matthew Benjamin Jones, Luke Skinner

The World We Knew is a crime horror movie written by Matthew Benjamin Jones and Kirk Lane, and directed by Jones and Luke Skinner. When a heist doesn’t go to plan, a group of six guys must spend the night in a safe house while they wait for help. What can they do but just wait? The film delves into the relationships between these men as their loyalties are tested and a supernatural element grows around them.

The conversations change in pace and tone, in one moment calm, and the other chaotic or frenzied. It’s a breakdown of communication between six men who are stuck, in more ways than one. Without spoiling the horror elements of the film for you, I will say it is done very effectively.

The World We Knew builds up slowly, and due to that we have a chance to experience backstory to these men who, in this accidental but necessary seclusion they experience, begin to see their lack of trust in one another grow alongside the creeping tension of the supernatural. It’s a very intriguing concept, and a blend of genre types that is seldom seen. It felt, then, fresher than I expected and offered a unique way to tell a supernatural tale. The cast do a really top notch job, each of them offering something different, their interactions and dynamic, along with strong writing for them to work from, bringing the film to a higher level of quality than it otherwise may have reached.

The film does have a bit of a strange tone that I could have perhaps done without. I feel like more clarity and a touch less of the surreal would have helped the film a bit, and some extra gusto when it came to the supernatural side of things would have also been welcome. Still, there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on with The World We Knew, with strong performances from the cast and a very cool mixture of horror and crime that felt fresh and new.

It feels contemporary, it feels almost undateable, and the location was really interesting. There’s a lot to say about this film, and most those things are positive, too. A lovely score from French band The Liminanas and an adept sense of tension from the film-makers shove this FrightFest offering into a very good place. I enjoyed this experience, and would like to see this band of writers and directors do more together in the future, because their eye for detail, their terrific writing and the choice of location really impressed me.

**** 4/5

The World We Knew screened on Saturday October 24th as part of this months Frightfest Digital Edition.

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