THE WORLD WE KNEW (2020) Reviews of British crime horror

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The World We Knew is a 2020 British crime horror film about six armed robbers holed up in a deserted safe house. But during their stay, their pasts come back to haunt them. What is real and what is the product of their tormented minds?

Directed by Matthew Benjamin Jones and Luke Skinner from a screenplay co-written by Matthew Benjamin Jones and Kirk Lake, the Powis Square Pictures production stars Struan Rodger, Johann Myers, Finbar Lynch and Kirk Lake.


The World We Knew delights in a slow-burn sense of impending doom, allowing time for each character to build their backstory. With the dysfunctional gang sitting in enforced seclusion; their distrust of each other permeating every conversation […] each performance is nothing short of exceptional. The small but perfectly formed ensemble beautifully encapsulating the creeping sense of unease, as the cloak of night descends.” Cinerama Film

The World We Knew is a solid effort and there’s plenty to admire. For me, the story could have been a bit stronger and a little less abstract, but otherwise the film is very polished and accomplished. You don’t often see a crime drama injected with supernatural elements, and that definitely gives the film a unique hook.” Entertainment Focus

“The cast all fully commit to their characters and The World We Knew is overflowing with talented performances. It helps that they have some strong dialogue to fall back on and the six have an interesting group dynamic […] Waiting for Godot meets Reservoir Dogs, The World We Knew may not be action-packed, but it still manages to pack an entertaining punch.” The Hollywood News

“It’s definitely more creepy than it is alarming. My eyes were glued to the screen throughout, but I was never watching through my fingers, and I’d characterise it as a stylish ghost story, rather than an out-and-out horror […] At no point does it fall short of doing exactly what it’s trying to do, and I found it very strong indeed.” Horrified

” …action is confined to the house and grounds and more of that comes in dialogue – the contrast between verbal loose cannon Myers and the quieter, regretful Lake and Rodger is effective, and Lynch holds down the Harvey Keitel role with ice-eyed charisma […] An exercise in mood and texture rather than plot, it’s more wistful than terrifying but creeps up on you and is likely to linger in the memory.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“I feel like more clarity and a touch less of the surreal would have helped the film a bit, and some extra gusto when it came to the supernatural side of things would have also been welcome. Still, there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on with The World We Knew, with strong performances from the cast and a very cool mixture of horror and crime that felt fresh and new.” Nerdly

” …a gripping chamber-piece chiller that absolutely drips with dread and that features sharp, sometimes dark-witted dialogue. The characters are all marvelously conceived and are brought to cinematic life by the ensemble cast members, who inhabit their characters superbly.” The Scariest Things

“The screenplay – by Jones and actor Kirk Lake – focuses on character rather than horror and in doing so creates an utterly engaging old-school chiller. It would work as play, but at no point does this feel stagy. It’s films like this that give you hope for the British film industry.” Starburst

Release date:

In the United States, The World We Knew will be released by Mutiny Pictures/Mill Creek On-Demand and DVD on January 11th 2022.

Cast and characters:

Struan Rodger … Barker
Johann Myers … Gordon
Finbar Lynch … Carpenter
Kirk Lake … Stoker
Philip Hancock … Policeman
Alexander Wells … Eddie Poe (as Alex Wells)
Simon Rhodes … HP
Mat Harvey … Smith

Filming locations:

Colchester, Essex, England

Technical details:

78 minutes


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