We are your only friends.
At first, The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009) looks like it might be an uncomfortable foray into grim sleaze, but the dependable presence of Eddie Marsan suggests that something more interesting is in store, and that sliver of promise is fulfilled, if mildly. J Blakeson wrote and directed, for his first feature, a tight minor thriller that makes effective use of familiar twists and displays a strong, unobtrusive sense of visual space. Marsan and Martin Compston play kidnappers, first preparing their hideout, and then biding their time, waiting for delivery of a ransom payment as their abductee, Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), lies chained to a bed in the next room. the acting is solid, Marsan in particular, and Blakeson works skillfully with silence, using movement and subtly striking set-ups within the well-designed, limited set to carry long periods of narrative. However, The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009) is not Harold Pinter's The Dumbwaiter: there's no subtext, no theme, no depth mined from the enclosed drama or the lively but generic interactions between the three principals; it's a confident, cold execution of nicely engineered plot points. Solid, but not permanent, and not likely rewatchable.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed was brought to my Potluck Film Fest by Flickcharter Nigel Druitt, who can be found on Flickchart under the username johnmason. He ranks it on his chart at #279 / 1660 (83%), making it his 31st favorite out of 146 crime thrillers. The Disappearance of Alice Creed ranked on my Flickchart at #1906 / 3812 (50%), putting it at #114 out of 188 crime thrillers.
As movies are added to this list, I'll add them to Letterboxd, here: