Starring: Chris Langham, Simon Amstell, Amanda Handingu
Director: Tom Kingsley, Will Sharpe
Running Time: 83 mins
Black Pond is a British film about a family who are accused of murder and become part of a major media assault after a stranger drops dead at their house, causing their lives to fall apart.
This is an interesting idea for a film, and it from the start, this had the potential to unfold as an exciting, heavy-going and very topical thriller. However, it doesn’t manage to do that because of the excessively weird atmosphere that prevails throughout, whilst the comedy here just doesn’t work either.
The idea could be a generic one, but this film tries a different angle with it, which I was intrigued by, however I just didn’t think it worked out at all well. The problem is that it tries to make this story too quirky for what it actually needs to be to be interesting. The whole vibe of this film is a really strange one, full of awkward characters and just weird dialogue that’s deliberately meant to make you feel uncomfortable, but goes too far in that to the extent that it’s not cool or funny.
That’s the other big problem with this film: the comedy. It’s very subtle and relatively intelligent, but it fails for two main reasons. Firstly, the jokes fly so low under the radar and are so subtle that it often feels as if no jokes are being made, or they’re happening inadvertently, simply making it a lot harder to laugh at or be entertained by. Also, the comedy didn’t really suit the subject matter for me. I was intrigued by the media element of the story, but the weird and quirky comedy that this is full of never sat right with me in the story, which made me feel that it was just tonally inconsistent and muddled in that respect.
Whilst it’s a plot that certainly has potential, I just wasn’t interested by the more ‘thrilling’ aspects of this film. With the weird atmosphere, it doesn’t work so well, but the pacing also makes it really drag and takes away a whole heap of the intended excitement, leaving you on many occasions simply quite bored.
Overall, this gets a 5.5 because despite being a story with potential and almost quite an original idea, the comedy and atmosphere here doesn’t sit well with the plot and ultimately makes it quite a difficult watch that’s tough to enjoy.