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Punch - Punch(VOD) [Miracle Media - 2024]

Punch is a UK slasher film set in a rundown seaside town. It mixes sweary drama, with moody shots of both the sea & the town's decline, a neat killer, a few effective gory kills, and rewarding moments of uneasiness/ creepiness. Here from Miracle Media is a digital release of this 2023 film.

Punch was both directed and written by Birmingham-born Andy Edwards. He started off his directing career in 2010- been part of a few horror anthology films such as House Party Of The Dead 6 ( 2010), Threes A Shroud (2012), and Grindsploitation (2016). He has then gone on to helm three other features- taking in Zombie Spring Breakers (2016), Graphic Designs (2022), and Midnight Peepshow (2022).

The film focuses on Frankie (Alina Allison) who is back home to see her rather rough 40-something Mother Julia (Kierston Wareing) and her best friend Holly (Faye Campbell). Seemingly she left the rundown & unnamed seaside town to go to university without telling anyone. 

We find out Frankie’s father committed suicide by jumping off nearby cliffs, and we get an effectively uneasy dream sequence regarding this. Julia has found a new man the stubbily-likes-a-beer-or-two Elton (Jamie Lomas).

The film largely takes place over one afternoon & evening, as Frankie & Holly head around town. Drinking a few pints in the local bar, hanging out with friends at a car park, meeting up with Frankie’s mechanic boyfriend Darly( Macaulay Cooper), and going to a strobing party where two nudes covered in glow paint are the key focus.

As all this goes on a figure in a black hood-up coat & Mr Punch mask is going around killing folks with a baseball bat. First an under-the-pier drunk, then two women on a hen night- with one getting the serious bat/ mouth job & the other getting her neck twisted right around.  And as things progress, he’s focused on tracking down Frankie.

The film has a nice pervading feeling of dread & tension- build-up from seeing Punch in the distance of shots, to his straight-on stalking. And for the most part the film unfolds engagingly enough- with a good & even pace. With some great atmospheric shots of the town- as well as some very effective drone shots- of both the night sea & town.

There are a few issues though which are slightly niggling- the Punch character has the higher pitched voice effect, and sometimes you can’t make out what he’s saying- though on the positive side, he has a neat cacking laugh. After the first few kills- the invention level drops with largely just brutal head bashings. And the reveal of who’s behind the mask is a little naff, as is the film's resolve- which felt rather unbelievable.

I’d say Punch is certainly one of the better British slasher films I've seen in some time- with a neat killer, who is both creepy & brutal. Yes, there are issues, but most of these aren’t major. Oh, and we find out as the credits roll that Punch will be back….so let’s hope this comes to pass.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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