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10x10 (Movie Review)

10x10 (Movie Review)
04.16.2018by: Mike Sprague
8 10

PLOT: Lewis (Luke Evans) is an outwardly ordinary guy, but in reality, he is hiding an obsession - revenge - against Cathy (Kelly Reilly). Lewis kidnaps Cathy in broad daylight and takes her to his home, where he locks her in a soundproof cell and attempt to extract a dark secret from her past.

REVIEW: I don't know about you but I love a good contained thriller ala BURIED and Stephen King's MISERY. So it is with this in mind that I was really looking forward to checking out first-time feature film director Suzi Ewing's new thriller 10X10 starring Luke Evans (DRACULA UNTOLD) and Kelly Reilly (SHERLOCK HOLMES). So now that I've finally had the chance to check out the twisty-turn-y thrill ride, what did I think? Let's find out! 

Now, this is usually the part of any given review where I go into the plot of the film. But the brief plot synopsis laid out above, which follows a man (Evans) who kidnaps a woman (Reilly) and keeps her captive in a 10x10 padded room, is about all you need to know about this film. If that mysterious plot rundown and the attached cast aren't enough to stir your interest, I can only hope my review does. And speaking of which, that is all I'm aiming for here in this review - to stir interest. I will do my very best and try to stay clear the hell away from spoilers as the movie's mysteries are its second main draw and kept me (sorry for the cliche) on the edge of my seat throughout.

Brushing past any real rundown on the film's plot, let's just go ahead and get to the film's main draw as alluded to above, the cast. Total truth be told, I have never been much of a fan of Luke Evans. I thought his performances in films such as Peter Jackson's THE HOBBIT trilogy, Gary Shore's DRACULA UNTOLD, and Ryuhei Kitamura's NO ONE LIVES where aptly described as "wooden" at best. But all of that aside, Evan's turn in this thriller really won me over. The man has acting chops for days and can play both badass, scary, and vulnerable all at once. This isn't an easy role, let me just say that, but Evans pulls it off with menace and hidden sorrows. The man has a plan you have to give him that. Is it an evil plan? Maybe... You'll just have to find out yourself.

And on the other side of the casting coin, we have the lovely Kelly Reilly. I have been a big fan of Kelly Reilly since her brutal performance in director James Watkins' killer-kids flick EDEN LAKE. Side note: If you haven't seen that film, find a copy tonight as the movie is high-as-hell on my top recommends list. Anyhow, since Reilly's turn in that intense survival thriller, I have been waiting for the actress to really take on a meaty and substantial role in the realm of horror and/or thrillers again. And I'm happy to say that 10X10 is her welcomed return, for sure. Like Evans above, Reilly keeps you guessing throughout and when push comes to shove the woman can get positively brutal to defend her life. 

Moving past the stellar cast, the talent behind the scenes are no slouches either, and back Evans and Reilly up big-time. The film's screenplay written Noel Clarke and director Suzi Ewing is a twisting and twisted tale that peels back layer after layer of surprises at every turn and relies on characters over carnage for its chills and thrills. But as good as the film's script is, all would have been for nothing had first-time feature filmmaker Ewing not possessed the skills behind the lens to bring it to the screen. Ewing knows how to build and sustain tension and suspense as well as kick the action (and the blood) up to eleven when the time calls for it. While this film may, in the end, not be a killer new classic, Ewing's next film will be - I can guarantee that.

So was there anything I didn't like about 10X10? Not really. For what it is, the film is just what it needs to be - a simple, contained plot that is constantly expanded over and over again in new and thrilling directions due to not much else other than the secrets and internal motivations of its main characters. There are no monsters, masked-murders, or mutated maniacs to be found lurking in the shadows of this film. There are only two realistically disturbed and disturbing human beings with dark agendas and even darker pasts - locked in a 10x10 room together. And let me just say, things get messy by the time credits roll. 

In the end, Suzi Ewing'S 10X10 is as good as I could have hope for it to be. If you don't dig the film's trailer (which I'd actually recommend you skip altogether) then just keep clear of the film. But for me, these are the kinds of films I dig time and time again. And so if you're into psychological thrillers that keep you guessing and bring out the blood when necessary, such as Wes Craven's RED EYE or David Fincher's PANIC ROOM, seek out 10x10 as soon as possible.

Extra Tidbit: The film is currently in theaters & On Demand.
Source: AITH

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