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CHERRY TREE LANE

Director: PAUL ANDREW WILLIAMS

77 minutes| U.K.| 2010| Colour| D-Cinema


As he proved with his debut London to Brighton, writer-director Paul Andrew Williams is a man well-versed in the art of shredding our nerve ends, something he proves once more by tackling the ultimate middle-class suburban nightmare. It’s an ordinary night at home for 40-something couple Rachel Blake and Tom Butcher, unwinding with a glass of wine and a ready meal, when a knock at the door changes everything. Enter a gang of drug dealers eager to get their hands on the couple’s teenage son, who’s grassed up one of their compadres and will now pay the price. In the meantime, violence, intimidation, and a yawning social gulf are exposed.

Williams has definitely been studying his Haneke and his Lynch, but the spot-on cultural references are the major strength here, revealing stark misunderstandings and gnawing envy to insidiously unsettling effect. Kudos too to Williams for refusing to stereotype the ruffian intruders, whose true colours emerge as temperatures rise. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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