Trapped in his flat, Mark wants to break out and get some answers.
It’s a fear of many to be trapped inside a confined space, unable to break out of somewhere and it happened to myself at the offices only the other day when I pushed the door to leave the office only to find it would not open. I kept pushing all to no avail and found myself entombed in the claustrophobic office. I was contained! Hour after hour I waited until the following day when a colleague finally came to my rescue and pointed out that I needed to pull not push the door (You’re an idiot – Ed)
‘Containment’ opens with Lee Ross as Mark recovering from that big night out, morning after feeling as he wakes up hung over and surrounded by empty bottles of booze and realising that he’s running late getting for a court appearance with his ex-wife over custody of their son. He’s likely to be even later when he finds the door to his flat glued shut and as he looks out of the window of this tower block he sees figures in orange Haz-Mat (Hazardous Material) suits helping people into the back of mysterious vans and hosing down buildings with jet sprays. A glance across to a neighbouring block he spots a man hammering against a window and calling for help and appearing to be in the same situation as himself. Alarmed by the situation he finds himself him and wanting to find out why this has happened he teams up with several other residents in the block in an effort to find out what’s going on and to see if they can escape?
Written by David Lemon – this is the directorial debut of Neil Mcenery-West adhering to the rules of a low budget film that a strong story only needs one set which in this case is a council flat where the characters all find themselves trapped. Unfortunately it does fall foul of the seemingly unavoidable stereotypical characters too, the volatile act first, think later thug, the wishy-washy liberal, the cantankerous old woman, the innocent child, the everyman lead and there are plot holes and inconsistencies – a sniper on the roof who disappears at a convenient moment, the absence of any media near the restricted zone and so on.
This is one of those films where you know each person is going to come to a grisly end and it’s just a case of working out who’ll be first and in what order they’ll be taken out. With static, off centre shots of minimalist architecture interspersing the narrative this is a decent low budget British film which runs at a brisk 77 minutes but lacks any decent narrative twists and will find a better market in home entertainment than the big screen.
Words: Simon Hooper (@anygoodfilms)