TOWER BLOCK *** UK 2012 90 mins 

A slick British variant on ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, punctuated by short sharp bursts of violence (with brief but startling gore courtesy of Paul Hyett) and built around a standard slasher movie structure. A past tragedy prompts a mystery sniper to go on a rampage in and around the tower block. Survivor girl Sheridan Smith
figures in the film’s best shock moment: 20 minutes in, her pleasant breakfast with a new lover is ruined by him losing part of his face as the sniper makes his first strike. Sadly, she’s not a particularly sympathetic vest-wearing, nail gun-wielding heroine, and the presence of at least two Jeremy Kyle Show – styled characters, plus Jack O’Connell essaying a Jack-the-lad thug for the umpteenth time reflect the weaker elements of Moran’s script. Additionally, we could have done without the online gamer teenager who contributes insight into the mystery gunman’s behaviour based on his gaming experience. Still, it’s generally taut and well done, with the masked, black-clad killer unveiled at the climax in the sub-genre tradition, complete with rant: “You people all deserved it…!”

Review by Steven West

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