DARKNESS IN TENEMENT 45 *** USA 2020 Dir: Nicole Groton. 95 mins
A biological threat from the Soviet Union leaves a New York City tenement boarded up with the tenants inside.
Sixteen-year-old Joanna has been living with her overbearing Aunt Martha in a low-income NYC tenement building ever since a violent outburst left her fighting a feeling she can only describe as the “darkness.” Little did she know that weeks after moving in, a biological threat from the Soviet Union would leave the building boarded up and the tenants locked inside. It’s been one month since they were first sequestered. With food dwindling and Martha’s controversial role as leader expanding, Joanna realizes that she must face both her darkness and her aunt in order to save the tenants. But can she take on the leadership without letting the darkness take over her entirely?
Nicole Groton’s debut feature film set in the bleak 1950’s see’s a threat of nuclear biological attack on New York City the residents of Tenement 45 refuse to evacuate and instead lock themselves in away from the terror of the outside world but has the threat been contained or are they living with it?
This film is something very different, yes it’s a low budget offering but the film is very well acted with great overall production and with stand out cinematography and a high intense thriller that makes for a very interesting watch. I think as most people that because we all have been somewhat living in isolation for months at a time this year the film had much more of an impact on me after watching the film you want to open the door to breath in the fresh air. this film captures the claustrophobic elements so well.
I really enjoyed this isolation thriller offering. I had heard that this film was doing the rounds in film festivals and heard good things about it! And they weren’t wrong, this is a dark claustrophobic thriller that will have the viewer gasping for breath. I will be keeping a close eye and hoe that we see more from director Nicole Groton very soon!
Review by Tony Newton