“Tower Block” is a 2012 British urban thriller film, directed by James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson, and written by James Moran.
At the start of the film we are told that after World War II, starting in the early 1950s, blocks of flats started to be built as affordable accommodation which were initially welcomed and desired for the improved views. However, as time went on the buildings started to fall into disrepair and gain a reputation for crime and violence. Developers were now demolishing the blocks, however in Serenity House the residents of the top floor have thus far refused to leave, despite the developer’s best efforts.
One night a 15 year old boy is fatally beaten in the corridor of the top floor by two masked individuals. Whilst most residents stay locked behind their doors, turning off lights, one – Becky (Sheridan Smith – “Jonathan Creek”, “Cilla”) tries to go to his aid, only to be knocked unconscious by the attackers. When police try to identify the culprits and look for witnesses, they find that the residents won’t speak out for fear.
One Saturday morning, three months later, Becky and the other top floor residents, including alcoholic Paul (Russell Tovey – “Blackwood”), and protection racketeer / drug dealer Kurtis (Jack O’Connell – “’71”) all find themselves suddenly under attack from a sniper hidden somewhere nearby shooting through their windows.
Seeking refuge in the hallway, and realising that all communications are cut off, the lift is out of order and the stairway is outside the building (and thus unprotected from the sniper’s view), they try to band together to figure out who may be targeting them, why, and how to escape with their lives…
This was a pretty enjoyable thriller, with a good sense of tension. Sheridan Smith and Jack O’Connell are the stand-outs in the cast, Smith acting as default leader of the residents as they try to find a way out, and O’Connell perfectly capturing his part as an unapologetic bad boy.
I did feel that the ending was a slight let down, and was unconvinced once the identity of the sniper was finally revealed – it perhaps being a little too unlikely – but, hey, it’s not real, it’s only a film, and despite this reservation it’s still an enjoyable watch…