Sunday, 25 November 2012

THE RECKONER - a review by Paul Worts

Stephen Oxborrow’s The Reckoner is in many ways as ruthlessly efficient in its execution as the film’s titled protagonist(s). 

With a negligible budget it delivers a serrated knife-edged 12 minutes. Ambitiously photographed in scope format, The Reckoner‘s taunt editing slices through its tale of fatal kidnapping. Geoffrey Robe is (worryingly) convincing as ‘Matt Gore’, the lead captor ultimately charged with carrying through on the threat to kill hostage Claire (Mel Hayward) and thereby ensuring her rich daddy will be “coming up one Father’s Day card short.”

Director Oxborrow has stated that the film is intended as an ‘extended trailer’ for a feature-length version, and the dénouement certainly opens up the possibility of expanding the concept. Given the prominent (and effective) deployment of iPhones during key scenes, perhaps Apple would consider a product placement deal? Then again, given the amount of surprisingly convincing on-screen violence, perhaps not. Indeed there is one particular sequence where – whilst the action is understandable in the context of the film’s overall context – the method of dispatch seems to display an unmerited degree of sadism.

But overall The Reckoner is a strikingly bold 12 minute calling-card. It will be fascinating to see what these clearly very talented filmmakers go on to produce next given (hopefully) a bigger budget (or indeed any budget for that matter).

(The Reckoner was a very close runner-up in the first Misty Moon International Film Festival).

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