the first scene grabs you. liz, a girl in ratty clothes who looks as if she's been on the edge of dehydration and starvation for weeks (as it turns out, she HAS) races down an empty hallway, collapses next to a phone, dials 911, and screams into the reciever. this same girl later tells the story of four kids trying to escape a dreaded school trip to wales, who are then locked in an old bomb shelter by a sadistic classmate named martin....or were they? through a series of flashbacks, we learn the truth about liz's time in 'the hole,' and what really happened to the others who were with her.
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This is a great little movie from England, though it stars Thora Birch (Lester's daughter from American Beauty). I won't give away the story, only to say that it takes a completely different tack to the material - one that echoes Kurosawa's Rashomon, if you know to what I am referring. I have to say that, while I wasn't overly taken by Birch in American Beauty, here she does a phenomenal job with some VERY demanding material. Let's just say her character isn't as simple as it may seem in the beginning. And the supporting cast is also very good (it doesn't hurt that Kiera Knightley is a dead ringer for Natalie Portman, and was used to that effect in The Phantom Menace). The film is beautifully shot, and the DVD's image does it good justice.