Body at Brighton Rock is a strange little indie film. Presented in listings as a horror film, with an awkward poster that comes across as an awkward comedy and that’s sort of how the movie plays out.
A young woman working with the park ranger service takes someone shift to put signage along the walking paths in the forest. This is something she’s never done before but she feels confident that it’s not too much for her, despite what her friends and superior think. While things go well at first they take a dark turn when the young woman discovers a dead body while she is out, and even worse, she’s lost.
She must now wait with the body until help comes and hope that nothing else happens to put her in further danger.
The film is well made, and it looks really good with beautiful vistas and great shots of the forests. The soundtrack is surprising and has an indie jaunt with a focus on ‘80’s pop music. The lead actress is good and her awkwardness and self assuredness charm quite easily. The problem is that half of the film sets up like an indie comedy, even down to the film’s font usage. It’s like they started out to make a comedy about an awkward, geeky girl who just wants to fall in love and the object of her affection is her job.
And the job doesn’t return the feelings.
Things take a definite turn when she finds the body and all of a sudden the film becomes a dark affair of survival and intrigue. The turn isn’t necessarily bad, and I have seen other films begin as a comedy and go dark but it’s very, very hard to pull off and unfortunately Body at Brighton Rock doesn’t nail. The pieces are there but they just don’t fit together. They take steps towards creeps but then undermine themselves. Throw in a subplot that absolutely doesn’t pay off at all and you have a movie with a lot of potential that falls short.
It’s a shame because there was a really good chance for this to be an awkward comedy, or a creepy horror film, or even an uplifting indie about survival, but it isn’t able to commit to any of those and tries to be all three at once and thus just falls apart. This is all the fault of the director and writer/s. Completely. The lead does her job well, but without a path forward the film can’t BE anything. It just IS something. I can’t help but wonder what the intention here was, whether it was always to be a ‘horror’ film or if that changed in editing.
All of this is to say that this is a completely missed opportunity grasping at straws and catching none. It’s a late night watch on streaming but that’s about it. A watch and forget. And there’s too many good movies to intentionally go after those sorts of movies.
2 out of 5