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This fiercely imaginative ‘urban fairy tale’ from multitalented East End fabulist Philip Ridley, creator of ‘The Reflecting Skin’ and ‘The Passion of Darkly Noon’, juxtaposes familiar Bethnal Green settings, fairy tales, disturbing violence and bleak, surreal humour. Jamie (Jim Sturgess, below), a melancholy 25-year-old photographer with a heart-shaped port-wine birthmark on his face, starts to believe that the masked ‘hoodies’ prowling the streets are actual demons. His shy, tentative love for the fragile Tia (Clémence Poésy) offers a ray of hope, but his Faustian pact with the charismatic Papa B (Joseph Mawle) – the self-styled ‘patron saint of random violence’ – plunges Jamie into a frightening world of chaos. By showing us these bizarre events from Jamie’s point of view, Ridley forces us to share his hallucinatory vision of an apocalyptic world. The ever-brilliant Eddie Marsan contributes a darkly hilarious cameo as the enigmatic Weapons Man, and Ridley’s coup de grace is a quiet, emotionally charged ending  as surprising as it is bold.

By: Nigel Floyd


Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday May 21 2010
Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Philip Ridley
Screenwriter: Philip Ridley
Cast: Jim Sturgess
Timothy Spall
Eddie Marsan

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
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4 Stars,not the best film,not filmed in the best way or clear way but was utterly interested in the concept and eager to find out what is going on.Yes it can be confusing and disappointing in the end but all in all the emotions striking along can be described as thought provoking.Seeing the trailer made me think "this is one movie with cool concept ,shallow,pass time" it turned out to be more than what the description of one page said it was "a shy photographer with a heartshaped birth mark that fights demon gangs in london" I also love the songs.Yes it could have been better in many ways still made me look through it and comment on its behalf

I watched the first 5 minuits and was immidiatly loving where I thought the film was going, I was sadly disappointed iwith what followed the film had a few to build ups that met a poor and unfufilling end. Few good actors seen struggling through scenes. Do not watch if ur girlfriend is like mine and struggles to grasp the concept of films with a deep storyline as she will be asking what's going on every 5 mins and be pissed off with u for making her sit through it and wasting her time doing whatever shit it is that women do to pass the time.

utter tripe, started off ok but so confusing I hadnt a clue what had happened in the end. Was happy as 'Jamie' was fairly fit so that kept my attention going just about.

I suffered the gross misfortune of being sent this as a recommended choice from LoveFilm and I now need to work out a way of invoicing them for the 2 hours of my life they have stolen. Where do I start? This film has tried to transcend every genre which in principle is an interesting concept. The only flaw here is that every part is done badly. How can you have a hilariously camp, comical and ultimately likeable rent boy wrapped in cling film having his heart cut out in a brutal attack because some self-pittying little scamp is ashamed of his little birth mark. It just makes no sense! As the viewer you want Jamie to man up as opposed to strike an allegiance with some lizard-like creatures who look like hooded extras from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I almost want everyone to watch this film just to experience how poor film making can be. All this said, I console myself with the fact that I haven't laughed as much at any movie (comedy or otherwise) in a long time. The only problem with that is that I was laughing at the sheer pretence of trying to do glue these scenes together and call them a film. TIME OUT!?!? You credibility is questionable. 4 STARS? Please. PS. I do think Eddie Marsan was the best thing in it.

Four stars? Did we see the same film? overwritten and heavy handed. Philip Ridley's return to film is pretentious, strained and lazily directed. Someone take his final cut privilege away from him.

I saw this at the Glasgow Film Festival at the beginning of the year. There was advertised as some sort of thriller, which might have coloured my response at the time, as it was we only got to see two films. I can't say I liked it much, and yet it hard to say why. Most of the acting is pretty good (Eddie Marsan's funny cameo being the stand out for me). Just enough blood and guts to keep gore fans happy plus a few laugh loud good (and bad) attempts at humour. Give it a go, it might just be your thing.

Pretentious mashup of ANGEL HEART, DONNIE DARKO and JACOB'S LADDER. Was expecting much more based on this review. A disappointment.

the movie is boring and confusing and u are confused from the first sequence to the end ,if its an horror film and a fantassy film ,anyway didnt like watching this film and it was creatif and original but wont appeal for the mass and the public ,,and another example of a film who gets critics for being original but few people but not good enough for the mass,,anyway stay away from this film ,,very confusing

I saw a screening of a it a while back in Bethnal Green. Absolutely amazing. Ridley manages to capture a real sense of paranoia. I can't wait for more from him.

I saw a screening of a it a while back in Bethnal Green. Absolutely amazing. Ridley manages to capture a real sense of paranoia. I can't wait for more from him.