10×10 (2018)

  • Time: 88 min
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Director: Suzi Ewing
  • Cast: Luke Evans, Kelly Reilly, Noel Clarke

Storyline:

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 attempts to extract a dark secret from her past.

2 comments

  • In a 10×10 room with concrete, sound absorbent walls no one can hear you scream. And certainly Kelly Reilly’s Cathy does a great deal of screaming as a woman who’s been mysteriously kidnapped and imprisoned in said room in 10×10, a lean dramatic thriller that isn’t nearly as tense or interesting as it could have been.

    The film begins promisingly enough with Luke Evans’ Lewis observing Cathy as she goes about her day, grabbing food from a diner where she asks after a server’s ailing wife, then to her yoga class where she’s put off by someone’s remark about the sex appeal of the instructor. So it would seem puzzling that a seemingly strait-laced woman who listens to Christian radio would be abducted in broad daylight. Yet taken she is, her mouth duct taped, her wrists and ankles zip-tied, and dumped into the trunk of Lewis’ car with nary an eyewitness in sight.

    Once in the specially constructed room in Lewis’ remote, swankily designed home, it becomes clear that his motivations have nothing to do with sex or money. All he wants to know is her name and he seems to know enough about her to be very angry when she gives what he considers to be the wrong answer. Tensions mount, brutal fight scenes ensue, sympathies shift but the film never truly engages. The main problems are that director Suzi Ewing waits a tad too long to introduce the turning point in the narrative, and Ewing and co-writer Noel Clarke provide standard, been-there, done-that reasoning behind the kidnapping.

    Where 10×10 truly and finally kicks into gear is during its last 25 minutes when Evans and Reilly get to completely unleash at each other and the film leans into the genre’s brutal and bloody tropes.

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  • 10x 10 is an unrated, tersely compact thriller. As something about a man who confines a woman to a soundproof cell only to find out that she killed his wife, “10” has a torture porn setting without the actual torture porn. Granted, the film could’ve stretched its running time past a mere 87 minutes for added absorption. Oh and I forgot to mention the cliched clip of the authorities showing up after the final confrontation goes down. Nevertheless, 10x 10 leaves you torn and nomadic on which gender to root for. It serves up its transient premise in creepy and effective fashion.

    “10” stars Luke Evans as the wealthy kidnapper and Kelly Reilly as the one being kidnapped. Evans is a tad wooden as Lewis when he is mourning his dead spouse through past home videos and random news footage. Reilly outmatches him as Cathy. She channels a sense of raw fear and raw distress as a would-be, bible-thumping criminal. Cathy and Lewis go at each other mano-a-mano and bloodied cat and mouse. They give 10x 10 the feel of being a violent, ungovernable, and unsettling affair.

    Director Suzi Ewing (she helms mostly shorts) makes “10” atmospheric and woodsy in a Hostel/Human Centipede sort of way. She even uses a few long shots when the main damsel in distress is letting out shrill screams. Don’t be fooled though. Ewing’s narrative is wholly original and not really in the realm of horror fare. 10x 10 in totality, is more psychologically intentioned as opposed to psychotically intentioned. With a minuscule cast, minimal locations, and personas that have a high threshold for pain (and appetite for that matter), it’s a low budget character study that’s almost “ten”fold. My rating: 3 stars.

    Rating: 3 out of 4 stars

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