Skip to content

Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Down Terrace (2009)

Down Terrace

2009 | United Kingdom | 93 min
  • Watched on Tuesday Feb 9, 2021 via Kanopy
    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Ben Wheatley’s feature debut. Bill, the patriarch of a Brighton-based crime family, and his son Karl return to their titular home after a six-month prison stint. There they struggle to uncover an unknown informer in thier crew.

    This one grew on me. Shot documentary style, it opens as a domestic drama, with Bill and Karl reacclimating to life outside prison and dealing with the squabbling and minutia of running a criminal enterprise like any other family business.

    But what starts mildly amusing turns darker by degrees. An ex-girlfriend of Karl’s turns up pregnant. She clashes with Bill. Paranoia regarding the informer spreads. Bill’s grasp on the situation slips. Bodies pile up at an alarming rate. An ominous warning comes down from London. It’s all played as black comedy and works well, but it’s Wheatley’s biting commentary on family trust that resonated. Good stuff.