Unless we’re talking about his new film or late-70s court documents, nowadays is Polanski hardly named more often than when critics discuss The Ones Below, a thriller supposedly in the vein of his close-quarter thrillers — especially the “Apartment Trilogy” of Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Tenant. Flattering, sure, but in turn no small point of comparison — especially in the case of David Farr, who’s making his feature-filmmaking debut.
The writer-director (also of popular British series MI-5 and Joe Wright’s Hanna) will get to make an impression on U.S. audiences when his movie arrives next month. There’s now a domestic trailer to give one a sense of what’s coming, though those hoping to avoid an aural-visual peek should read our review. Out of TIFF, we said, “There are definite moments that conjure both masters of suspense, but I’m not sure how much further they reach beyond simply sharing a genre. This isn’t the fault of the idea or actors—the former providing room for thrills and the latter enthralling in duplicitous and psychologically damaged roles—but Farr’s inexperience behind the camera. He often shifts abruptly through time in a disjointed fashion, helping disorient us towards the truth while also increasing our frustrations stemmed from gaps in detail. In the end he still finds himself positioned to surprise with an unexpected turn, but sadly erases such promise by merely delivering exactly what we expected him to from the start.”
Watch the trailer below (via Apple):
Eagerly awaiting their first child, a young couple in a tiny London suburb become involved in a psychological battle of wills with the tenants in the apartment downstairs.
The Ones Below will enter a limited release on May 17.