x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

New Town Killers

When the unemployed Sean Macdonald learns of his sister's mounting debts, which she owes to dangerous, unsympathetic people, the desperation of their situation becomes overwhelming.

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When the unemployed Sean Macdonald learns of his sister's mounting debts, which she owes to dangerous, unsympathetic people, the desperation of their situation becomes overwhelming. So when two men approach him and offer enough money to clear his sister's debts in exchange for playing an odd cat-and-mouse game, he reluctantly agrees. The two men - Alistair (Dougray Scott) and Jamie (Alastair Mackenzie) - are both high-earning bankers who, for fun, approach people they consider socially "invisible", and offer them significant sums of money in exchange for playing a 12hour game of hide-and-seek; the money is only handed over if the person survives throughout the night, which, Alistair explains, never happens. James Anthony Pearson plays Sean, who through a combination of serendipity and cunning, manages to play the game with far greater skill than the bankers are used to. But when his friend and sister become involved, Sean realises quickly and painfully that the game is far more dangerous and violent than he had thought when he signed up for it. As the men become irritated with Sean's ability to escape, a rift develops between them and it becomes clear that one is far more psychotic than the other. Sean ultimately discovers that he is just one in a long list of people whom Alistair has chosen to be hunted, and for the first time in this epic 12 hours, he has leverage with his murderous pursuer. Despite often predictable and uninteresting dialogue, the plot moves quickly, and as one scene after another suggests more characters are involved in the game, the viewer is quickly drawn in.

* Jessica Hume