Eddie Marsan (The New World, Happy-Go-Lucky) does clenched rage and disappointment better than anyone right now, and he provides the creeps in the creepy, twisty Disappearance of Alice Creed, a hostage thriller written and directed by J Blakeson in his feature debut.The British actor
Marsan (pictured above, right) plays the senior partner in a pair of kidnappers, a class-conscious ex-con who’s tightly wound but perhaps not quite as ruthless as he needs to be. Completing the three-person cast are Martin Compston (pictured above, left) as the junior kidnapper and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) as a hostage possessed of a greater killer instinct than either of her captors.
The first 10 minutes, a mostly wordless, Rififi-like montage of preparation and execution — stealing the van, shopping for supplies at the warehouse store, soundproofing the room, bolting the bed to the floor — are best.
The intentionally claustrophobic drama that unspools from there is well acted and sufficiently tense, but the plot twists and shifting alliances feel a little too polished; they play like the writer’s conceits they are, right up to the inevitable reversal-of-fortunes ending.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed will keep your attention, but you may finishng watching this DVD thinking you’ve seen something like it before: Sleuth, with more sex and violence.