High on pills and booze after breaking into a condemned East London tower block to set up a pirate-radio aerial, six delinquent local teens get picked off one by one in grisly fashion by a hooded killer with a penchant for DIY tools.
Kidulthood director Menhaj Huda takes a gamble fusing an urban youth drama (Jacob Anderson’s ex-con Lloyd wants to go straight for the sake of his pregnant girlfriend Jemma, played by Sophie Stuckey, who then goes missing) with the familiar slasher genre (in this case, a former caretaker wants revenge on the youths who set him on fire). But Huda’s hoodie horror is a bit of a letdown.
Yes, it does have a suitably suspenseful setting in the decrepit tower block (which reminded me of my first London home in Leyton), some clever death scenes and impressive make-up, but if you have already lived through 1980s slashers like The Burning (which this film resembles), then you’ll find nothing new here.
It does, however, have an enthusiastic young cast (Duane Henry’s gentle giant Col is a stand-out) to pull in the younger punters (its intended audience), and it is cool to see my Hackney hood and its east London environs in the cinematic spotlight, looking fashionably grim as usual. It’s just a shame that the film didn’t make more of the slasher conventions it was paying homage to.