May 30, 2016

VOD Review: The Ones Below (2016)

"A modern-day Thriller that feels like a throwback."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4126438/
(aka Dueling Baby Mamas.)
Release Date: March 27th.
Country: UK.
Rating: R.
Written by: David Farr.
Directed by: David Farr.
Starring: Clemence Poesy, David Morrisey, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Laura Birn.

It's hard to talk about this movie and not mention Rosemary's Baby. Of course The Ones Below has nothing to do with Satan or anything, but it certainly feels a lot like the Polanski classic in other ways. Then again, it also feels like something that came straight from the Hitchcock playbook, so I suppose that it would be proper to mention both filmmakers while talking about this movie. And now we have.

Kate and Justin are an attractive couple living in London, and they're expecting a baby. They look as happy as can be, even though the oddly unsettling music that plays as they smile blissfully at each other makes us think that something really bad is about to happen. Which it is.

THEY'RE SO HAPPY. FOR NOW.
Theresa and Jon are another attractive couple who has just moved into the flat below Kate and Justin, and they're also expecting a baby. They they seem... different though. Although she puts on a happy face, Theresa looks to be on edge, and Jon is a stiff hard-ass who seems incapable of smiling. Something is definitely off with the couple, but the four parents-to-be become friends anyway.

NOTHING CREEPY OR INTIMIDATING ABOUT THEM. NOPE.
Far be it from us to spoil what comes next for you here, but suffice it to say that after a horrible mishap, everything goes to shit for everyone, and the fast friends become fast enemies, and either one of the women is evil, or the other one is crazy, or both.

Paranoia and mistrust ensue.

YEAH, THAT'S ABOUT RIGHT.
The Ones Below feels like a mixture of Hitchcock and Polanski to us (and pretty much every other critic who has seen it), both of whom writer/director David Farr is a big fan of. The deliberate way the plot moves; the lingering shots; the claustrophobic mood; the eerie lullaby that plays throughout which would absolutely be at home in Rosemary's Baby... this is a very nuanced and intense Thriller that relied almost completely on psychological tension, fear, and unease to tell its story, and it did so very well.

The cast did a great job here as well. We love the hell out of Clemence Poesy, and while she was her usual effective, gorgeous self in this one, she even upped her game to an unnerving level with her performance. The stand-out for us was David Morrissey though. Damn but that man can play intense with the best of them... and then switch on a dime to be sympathetic as hell. What a dynamic actor.

THANK YOU FOR HER, FRANCE. THANK YOU.
Why was the husband such a moody dickhead?

YOU COULDN'T CHANGE THE FRIGGING LIGHT-BULB? REALLY?
To put it as vaguely as possible... that scene at the end, that damn scene at the end, made us say WTF?!? Then, a few minutes later, we said WTF?!? again for another reason. You'll understand when you see it.

ON A COMPLETELY UNRELATED NOTE, NO ONE GIVES THAT SEXY, "OVER-THE-FORK" LOOK LIKE CLEMENCE POESY DOES. NO ONE.
No gore in this one, but there is this one scene towards the end...

THAT DAMN SCENE...
We get a bit of pregnant nudity from the movie's leading ladies, but nothing very salacious at all.

IT'S A PUSS-OFF!
Don't ever let your oddball neighbor, who blames you for ruining their life, babysit your baby. Or is it don't ever marry a crazy bitch? It's definitely one of those two. Or both.

CRAZY OR NOT, I'D MARRY HER. I'D MARRY HER REAL GOOD.
The Ones Below is a slow-burn Thriller that has a classic feel to it, and it did a great job of keeping us hooked throughout. Some critics claim that the movie loses its edge in the final act, but we disagree, as we found it to be a solid culmination of the creepy groundwork that had been laid over the previous 60 minutes.

If you dig Thrillers like Hitchcock and Polanski used to make them, then give this one a go.

B+

The Ones Below is playing in limited theaters now, as well as on VOD.

http://amzn.to/27WaMKE


Clemence Poesy and Laura Birn.

7 comments :

  1. I was just okay with this film. It was nice to Morrisey outside of the Walking Dead as I hadn't seem him in anything else (that I can remember) and everyone was good, I guess, but it felt kind of like it was waiting to impress you with the ending. I wasn't as "in suspense" as it wanted me to be. Could have been simply that I had a bad movie watching weekend (The Other Side of the Door, The Darkness, Applecart, Dusk) and this was lumped in there.

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  2. Enjoyed this very much! The ones below really are quite creepy! I enjoyed watching Clemence Poesy in the Tunnel Sabotage recently so had to give this a watch!

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    1. The Tunnel was good. We love Clemence :)

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  3. To talk about this movie and call the names of two great heroes of this genre several times is kind of blasphemy. It's quite good but has never reached the outmost borders to the realm of awesomeness where Rosemary's Baby sits for almost 50 years. And it's defintely not shocking enough and hit hard like Inside (- of course the french original one!)

    The acting is powerful, that I give it credit for. But too many bad choices which seem rather far fetched for my tastes. And the twist at the end, I saw it coming right the minute the mishap took place.

    I give it 3,5/5.

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    1. Blasphemous or not, this movie felt a lot like the movies of those filmmakers, at least to a point. It wasn't as good as they are, and over time it won't be anywhere near as important, but it had a similar tone.

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  4. Inside was pure fun and a 4 master head movie. Rosemary's Baby was a genre Classic and what most movies are attempting to be. This movie was neither. It is a slow burn yes but hardly had the evisceration of emotions that the two former movies provide for me and most that have seen them

    I would give it 3 heads at best

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    1. Compared to Rosemary's Baby, most movies of this kind would only get 1 "head", 2 at most.



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