F (2010)

A gang of hooded youths attack a school and the teachers, under siege, are forced into a deadly game of survival.

The main character of F, Robert Anderson (David Schofield), is a man in crisis. He has just returned to the classroom after taking a leave of absence to recover from a violent incident between him and a student. During his break Robert has gained a drink problem and a failed marriage while losing the respect of his colleagues and, more importantly, that of his daughter Kate (Eliza Bennett).
Robert has also become obsessed with the increased frequency of attacks on teachers by students in the area. His fellow teachers are not interested, putting it down to Roberts’s paranoia and his new fondness for alcohol. They are about to learn the truth of the matter … the hard way.
F was written, directed and produced by Johannes Roberts for an estimated $1,300,000, but don’t let the tiny budget put you off, the film has a lot going for it: an interesting idea; solid script; great cast; intimidating antagonists; and a thick slice of gore too. The aftermath of violence is often shown rather than the violent act itself, sending your mind chasing after red herrings; an enjoyable exercise. 
You never see the faces of the hooded youths, even in full light, lending a supernatural feel to the attackers. Their ability to move silently, navigating rooms in unusual ways, allowing them to seemingly appear out of nowhere, adds to this effect. It is not certain what motivates the youths; are they seeking revenge or is the violence senseless, a scarier situation indeed.
The ending is abrupt, and initially unsatisfying, but when you give it some thought it is actually quite realistic. Extreme situations often end abruptly, leaving a sense of things being unfinished. Roberts’s final decision is logical for his character and the more you think on it the more it works. Ask yourself “What exactly did he set out to achieve?”



4 out of 5.

 

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