THE HIDE (15) **** DIRECTED BY: MAREK LOSEY STARRING: ALEX MCQUEEN, PHIL CAMPBELL
HERE'S a very promising debut from a new British director. Putting limited resources to good use, first-timer Marek Losey has managed to craft an absorbing drama from two characters in a single location that simmers with menace and builds to a satisfyingly macabre conclusion.
It stars the Thick of It's McQueen as Roy Tunt, a fastidious, old-before-his-time amateur ornithologist so oblivious to the ways of the modern world he doesn't quite get why his name might be a source of mockery.
Intensely lonely after the dissolution of his marriage, he spends his time watching for rare birds from the confines of a hut on the Suffolk marshlands.
It's into this tranquil, claustrophobic environment that the agitated, rough-looking Dave (Phil Campbell) stumbles, whisky bottle in hand and gun hidden in his overcoat pocket. These strangers soon begin a verbal jousting session that breaks down barriers between them. Though a little stagey (screenwriter Tim Whitnall adapted it from his own play), Losey manages to keep things visually interesting and demonstrates a sure hand in working with actors, coaxing commanding performances from McQueen and Campbell.