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  • Gareth Crook

Tribal - Get Out Alive (2020)

Now full disclosure, I’m likely to be a little biased with this review. Y’see I know the Matt Routledge, the director. We’ve worked together a few times and those who are eagle-eyed will spot my name in the credits. Another confession, I’m a bit clueless with the action genre. Right from the get go you can tell there’s care and attention. A great pre-opening credits sequence establishes enough excitement to appease even the most hardened thrill seeker. The cast is headed by Caitlin (Zara Phythian) and Brad (Ross O’Hennessy), they’re the good guys, despite being bailiffs (not a profession that usually garners much sympathy). Their role is simple, to kick shit out of the bad guys and boy do they. This is Routledge’s thing, the fight sequences are blistering. Lovingly choreographed for sure, but the edit really pops. The camera is right in on the action, it’s visceral and fast. Don’t blink, you’ll miss something great, especially from Phythian who’s pretty remarkable. It’s largely her story. Struggling with post war stress, an ex soldier trying to readjust, surrounded by events that make that impossible. Dispatching would be drug dealers is one thing, but that’s not really enough to sustain a feature. That’s where the mysterious Kenning Farm comes into play. Out in the countryside, far from anything, it’s the location at the heart of this film. Formally full of homeless squatters, the new owner, a vile piece of shit, wants Caitlin and Brad to clear it out for sale. It’s a routine job, that of course is going to be anything but. The duo along with team of bailiffs, coordinators, a few cops and the new owner, Mr Kenning (Thomas Dodd) enter with torches and slow careful footsteps. It’s a great location, full of dimly lit echoey corners for nasty things to lurk... and then it gets dark, as in night arrives. It’s a bloody big place you see and it takes a while to board all those windows up, making sure it’s all secure and ready to flog... and also making it harder to escape. Mr Kenning has spotted something though. He’s inherited this place from his father, who seemed to be obsessed with it. But why? It’s bugged Kenning for years, rejected by his dad, which is probably what lead him to be such an arse. What Kenning spots admist lots of eerie sound design, which really does deserve a shout out for being great, is some odd photos and prints that both give this film its name and such promise. The tension builds, you kinda know what’s coming, but you don’t know quite how it’s going to manifest. I tell you what though, it’s a bloody terrifying ride finding out! O’Hennessey does a great job providing a backbone for this as our heroes find themselves bathed in a dark red underworld in the depths of this vast hellhole, no phone signal, no help. Just their wits against whatever prowls it’s tunnels and hunts them. I watched this on my own in the dark and it set my teeth on edge. It’s like Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets, I dunno... something with a load of demented psychopathic cannibals! I’m utterly gripped. It’s fun, funny. Gutsy and gory. It’s looks fantastic and even with a simple plot, it keeps up its energy wonderfully. Alright it’s a bit silly in places with some sequences that the A-Team would be all over and some of the cast are more comfortable on screen than others, but come on this is good old fashioned beautiful bloodbath fun as machetes fly and punches land. There’s a big lad playing the main mute monster who’s name I’m not sure of, but he’s awesome. He doesn’t say much, being mute, but bloody hell he’s terrifying! It really is brilliantly put together and I’d definitely recommend taking a look. I streamed it on Amazon, but you can find it on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft and Sky Store.



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