The Screen Room
With Halloween fast approaching I figured now (or as it happens, a couple of weeks ago) was the perfect time to revisit and attempt to shine a spotlight on a movie I feel slipped sadly under the radar.
If you haven’t seen this film it’s ok. Most of the people I ask about it haven’t even heard of it.
In case you’re one of them, it’s a British-German comedy horror starring Danny Dyer (Human Traffic), Laura Harris (The Faculty), Tim McInnerny (Notting Hill), Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) and Andy Nyman (Jungle Cruise) among others.
This is what it’s about:
“Members of the Palisades Defense Corp. sales group arrive in Eastern Europe for a weekend long team-building exercise. A fallen tree blocks the route, and they must hike to their destination. However, a group of psychotic killers lurk in the woods, and they have a horrible fate in mind for each of the co-workers.”
Despite British films not being my “bag” I really like this one. It’s got to be fifteen years since I last watched it but I really enjoyed the revisit!
Undoubtedly the two biggest selling points of the movie are the plot (think The Office meets Hostel) and Danny Dyer. I’ve never been a huge fan of his, in fact I think this is probably the only thing I’ve seen him in (I don’t watch Eastenders) but without him I’m not sure the film would’ve worked.
One of the things I like most about this movie is how relatable the characters are. They’re a real mixed bag of personalities which is often the case in a working environment. In no other scenario would you imagine each of them being together - least of all a “fight for your life” situation, and it’s that dynamic that makes for some really entertaining and authentic chemistry.
Everyone plays their parts really well but aside from Danny Dyer who provides much of the comedy in his very British way, it’s Tim McInnerny who plays the group’s “out of his depth” manager who really stands out. Andy Nyman who plays the over enthusiastic jobsworth (a character I think we can all claim to have known at some point) is also excellent and has some of the most memorable scenes in the film.
This is a gruesomely funny dark comedy with well written characters, good performances and a fun and interesting premise.
If you threw films like The Hunt (2020), Hostel (2005), Vacancy (2007), Shaun of the Dead (2004) and the British TV series The Office into a blender, I think the end result would be something that closely resembles this movie.
It also has a sensible run time of 1 hour 36 minutes which seems to be a rare thing these days.
I recommend putting it on your Halloween watch list.
Seen it? Let me know what you think.👇