London to Brighton (2006). Gritty, scary – and brilliant!

I can’t recall the last time a film had such a visceral impact on me. Coming out of the cinema after watching “London to Brighton” I felt my senses reeling and the adrenalin pumping as if I had just stepped off a particularly fiendish theme park ride.

There’s a grim nastiness running throughout this story, interwoven with a thin thread of maternal compassion. Life is hard and hopeless for these people. They have few choices open to them. Their environment is sordid and gloomy. Even the seaside resort of Brighton is cold, windy and desolate.

But what lifts the audience out of what might otherwise be a depressing experience is the storyline which builds excitement and fear to the point where my friend felt he had to get up and actually leave the auditorium! Without revealing the plot, I can say that had he stayed, the final scene – which in no way strays from the noir – would have rewarded his perseverance.

The cast turn in convincing performances and Georgia Groome is excellent as the young runaway.