Simplicity is the ingredient for this euro independent hit that found its way into American cinema. Much like the budget of The Blair Witch Project or Winters Bone, lately we find more unique stories in smaller production films. While all three of this film's actors have had flashier projects, this little thriller is about sticks and bones. Dark, gritty and running a shade of gray throughout the film, The Disappearance of Alice Creed revolves around secrets and the intensity of the unknown; we never fully understand the characters motives because much of the information is withheld from the audience, creating the film's allure.

   Former cell mates Danny (Compston) and Vic (Marsan) think they have planned the perfect kidnapping for a $2 million ransom. They have the location, the vehicle, the hole in the ground for the bags of money, now they have the girl, Alice Creed (Arterton) who is the daughter of a wealthy businessman. While both men are on edge, the younger, more sensitive Danny has a little secret up his sleeve. Vic suspicious of every extra second in the bathroom or unaccounted for movement is taking care of all the communication with the money delivery. Even thought Alice is chained to the bed, gagged, even she has a more important role than just the victim in this ever changing plot.

   I think it’s fascinating that a thriller like this can be done with only three actors on screen. Of course that suggests this could have or was a play in its original form. The performances here are ever evolving so the audience is forced to pick up the pace and learn as the events unfold, nothing is catered in the respect of information. Marsan who once again plays a very intense character similar to his Happy Go Lucky performance is naturally intimidating. Compston (The Damned United) and Arterton (Quantum of Solace) provide the film's question marks.

   I think as a thriller we come to expect a little more vibrant intensity which this film intentionally keeps muted. It must be noted that simply judging the film in the beginning, there is no way to presume how it will end. The script keeps certain elements in the dark, both how well Danny and Alice really know each other, and what exactly the relationship is between Vic and Danny. A smart thriller can have just as much excitement as a stupid expensive film and that is the real selling point here.

   Final Thought – A unique low budget thriller.

Grade B-

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Jennifer Gih