‘How well do you know your neighbours?’
The Ones Below is a 2015 British psychological thriller feature film written and directed by David Farr. It stars Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore and Laura Birn.
London: Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) are expecting their first baby. They are thirty-something, successful and affluent. All appears well on the surface but Kate harbours deeply rooted fears about her fitness to be a mother and her ability to love the child within.
One day another couple, Jon (David Morrissey) and Teresa (Laura Birn) move in to the flat below. They become ‘The Ones Below’ and are also expecting a baby….
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“A more imaginative director might have added more dark humor and social commentary, playing on the class tensions, property-based anxieties and aspirational status signifiers that obsess many well-heeled Londoners. But for all its limited ambitions, The Ones Below serves its purpose as a solid calling card for Farr’s filmmaking future…” Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter
“As photographed by Ed Rutherford, it feels both cool and warm, as though perspiration is beaded up just out of sight. It’s a palpable feeling of unease that steadily permeates the proceedings … the air is slowly sucked out of the beautiful and increasingly deadly atmosphere. It often feels stilted, but that’s what it feels like to suffocate in your own home.” Peter Martin, Twitch
“Farr cleverly exploits the obvious anxiety and unease involved in simply being pregnant, the need for cocooning and privacy of the kind often unavailable in the big crowded city. There is also the unspoken fear of post-natal depression, and fear of personal failure … It is a thoroughly gripping, horribly absorbing movie.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
It’s an effective, creepy, unsettling picture for much of its running time, but works better when the plot is subtle (should Kate blithely drink so much milk or Teresa’s homemade lemonade?) than in a last reel which changes viewpoint inelegantly and then has to spring a what-really-happened montage that explains developments which would work better left ambiguous.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Scene by scene, Farr piles on the atmosphere: uncomfortable silences, languorous shots of flowers blooming, cacophonies of car alarms and the cries of a baby. He conveys Kate’s mental state with expert precision, cajoling an unshowy performance of quiet fragility from Poésy, who lulls viewers into thinking that she might have lost her mind.” Patrick Smith, The Telegraph
“Farr keeps a handle on the tension and tone, which keeps us hooked. Comparisons to Roman Polanski—particularly to Rosemary’s Baby—might seem obvious given the subject matter and setting. But Farr’s film stands on its own: lean, brisk and stylistically precise, and mercilessly free of gratuitous jump scares and gore.” Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
“Ultimately, Farr bets all his chips on a series of third-act rug pulls that seem totally ridiculous at first blush and only mildly ridiculous at second. Viewers may puzzle over the twists for a while — and maybe poke a hole or three — but mainly because The Ones Below leaves no more lasting impression. At best, it’s Polanski in the pinch.” Scott Tobias, Variety
Cast and characters:
- Clémence Poésy as Kate
- David Morrissey as Jon
- Stephen Campbell Moore as Justin
- Laura Birn as Teresa
- Deborah Findlay as Tessa