April 22, 2007 Sunday
StraightheadsCertificate 18SINCE Mulder and Scully solved the last of their X-Files David Duchovny has gone on to star in some pretty dodgy films, and I was beginning to wonder when Gillian Anderson was going to catch up.
I need not have fretted. With her turn in Straightheads- a new, laughable British 'thriller' from first time director Dan Reed - she makes Duchovny's post-Files oeuvre seem almost watchable by comparison.
She stars as Alice, a society seductress who, on a whim, takes the young man (played by chav totty Danny Dyer) who has just installed an alarm system in her flat under her wing.
On the way back from a party in the countryside, they are set upon by a group of men and beaten to within an inch of their lives. What follows is a drawn-out quest for revenge against their attackers, with Alice planning a complicated and grisly end for the man who raped her.
It tries to be dark and sexual and shockingly violent, but it falls flat on its face on several counts. There is no chemistry or frisson between Dyer and Anderson, an extremely unlikely onscreen pairing to begin with, and we never feel they are really a couple.
He whines in one corner of the room and she faux smoulders in the other, and they seem like they are in different films.
It doesn't help that they have been photographed a light that makes them both appear permanently haggard (difficult to believe watching this that she was once voted the world's sexiest woman).
The violent climax, which bears a resemblance to the final scenes of Death and The Maiden, but with none of that film's dramatic tension, is inadvertently funny. Anderson careens about wielding an iron bar over her head and shrieking like a demented banshee, and you just have to laugh.
Overall, not a very impressive debut from Dan Reed. Let's hope he has better things ahead.