Dead Man's Shoes Review

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Army-trained Richard (Considine) returns to his hometown with his mentally-challenged younger brother, Anthony (Kebbell), in tow. Anthony has been used and abused by a raggedy bunch of local drug dealers, and Richard plans to teach the bullies a deadly lesson...


Shane Meadows' raw revenge flick should be called Sympathy For The Bogeyman, because the director dusts off the invincible-killer-picks-off-teens routine and tells it from the bogeyman's point of view. The result is a thoughtful, possibly controversial, horror that offers none of the easy comforts typical of the genre – these victims are far from innocent, but do they deserve to die?

The film is so pure of purpose that it feels like a zero-budget debut; after the sprawling Once Upon A Time In The Midlands, that may have been Meadows' intention. Its first steps are, in fact, faltering, with the supporting cast struggling to improvise necessary exposition – but whenever Considine is onscreen, the movie has a magnetic centre around which the others can happily orbit.

Potentially Britain's answer to De Niro, the actor made a searing debut in Meadow's A Room For Romeo Brass, a film that boldly changed gear halfway through. This is even more fearless – genre conventions are trashed, key characters summarily dispatched and liberal niceties squashed. Meadows may not offer genuine insight into the psychology of monsters, but here he has created a memorable movie bogeyman.

Disturbing, uncompromising and completely gripping, this could do for slasher movies what 28 Days Later did for zombie flicks.