Rachael Blake in Cherry Tree Lane (2010)

Your Home is Not Your Castle

It's just a regular night for Christine (Rachael Blake) and her husband Michael (Tom Butcher) as dinner is cooking on the hob as they both unwind after a long day at work. But then there is a knock at the door and when Christine returns she has a knife to her throat and is surrounded by a gang of teenagers. They are after Christine and Michael's son Sebastian (Tom Kane) who has done the dirty on them and not only have they no plans to leave but they are happy to intimidate and torture Sebastian's parents until he does show up.

If ever a movie calls for a sponsor it is "Cherry Tree Lane" as the company which makes those door chain things and does home security could make a killing off of this movie. I'm serious because "Cherry Tree Lane" plays on the simple fear of you going to the door and suddenly you find yourself being held hostage by a gang of hoodie wearing young men who invade your home. Oh yes this is a British horror movie which plays on the culture of fear of gangs of young men wearing hoodies who act big.

The thing is that "Cherry Tree Lane" sounds simple, married couple subjected to violence and intimidation by a gang of teenagers wanting to hurt their son but there is more going on than that. We get to see how initially Christine tries to reason with them, not trying to make them angry and treat them as intelligent human beings in the hope that they will go easy on her and Michael. And then we have the fear factor of when Christine is lead up stairs by one of them and we only hear noises which makes your mind work over time as to what horrors she may be being subjected to. As to how this all plays out I will leave that for you to discover.

But here is the thing about "Cherry Tree Lane" as whilst we have the fear factor and we see the bruised and bloody faces of Christine and Michael we don't actually see much graphic violence. Instead it is all about making you feel ill at ease in your own home as we watch these teens intimidate Christine and Michael just by their aggressive attitude.

What this all boils down to is that "Cherry Tree Lane" is an effective British horror movie which does a good job of playing on the culture of fear when it comes to seeing gangs of young men in hoodies. But for me whilst effective it is also lacking in something to make it more explosive and less low budget which is how it often feels.