Cherry Tree Lane Review

Cherry Tree Lane (2010)

Starring: Rachael Blake, Tom Butcher, Jumayn Hunter
Directed by: Paul Andrew Williams

After watching Mother's Day, I was inspired to give this English horror-thriller a shot. It's been staring at me from the collection like a neglected orphan, so I figured it couldn't hurt, right?

In Cherry Tree Lane, an already tense dinner becomes even more so when a trio of hoodlums invades and assaults a couple, Mike and Christine. The three teens are there for revenge against their son, Sebastian.

This was a very interesting movie. Instead of taking the sensational route a la Mother's Day, it plays toward a more realistic scenario. The couple are bound with duct tape and repeatedly harassed and assaulted. There is even a scene involving rape, though it is implied and not explicitly shown. Cherry Tree Lane runs for an hour and seventeen minutes, which is below average, especially by today's standards. Be that as it may, all the while, there is a serious air of tension throughout the movie that keeps it interesting and even gives it the feeling that it's actually lasted longer.

I almost liked the kidnappers, Rian, Asad and Teddy. Almost. Rian, the main antagonist with a chip on his shoulder, spends the entirety of the film ordering the other two around. Asad is more laid back, even offering Mike a drink and a smoke at a point. Teddy...well, Teddy's just there. I couldn't help but feel like the couple had been taken hostage by Seal, Eminem and Forrest Whitaker, which made it a bit hard to take them seriously, at least until Christine is taken upstairs. Later on, a couple of younger girls show up. In what has to be the best case of judgement, one of them brings their well-dressed young brother, Oscar to the shindig.

What I really enjoyed, though, was towards the end when things come to a boiling point, there is an open interpretation of what happens when the credits roll. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say it involves the youngest of the cast and a simple question: What would you do?

Overall, this movie uses dialogue, suspense and story arcing to set the atmosphere with very little left to special effects. For the gore hounds, this wouldn't be a very good pick, but if you are into plot driven movies, I would actually recommend it. Cherry Tree Lane isn't the heavy-handed torture fest Mother's Day felt like, but it does have enough going for it for it to be worth adding to any horror fan's collection.




Special Effects

Overall Rating: Wounded and Limping

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