Axed (2012)

A bank note is a funny thing. It is an illusion of something that we hold as solid and real, but is merely the promise of it. The bearer has been promised by the Bank to be issued the currency stated by their demand. Now , when you look it like that, there are two things very wrong with this; one, is that the money we have is only worth as much as we are told it is by the financial powers that be, and two, is that we are supposed to trust the Bank, not to renege on this promise.

Well, that’s not too big an ask is it?

The Bankers, stockbrokers and the politicians that leapt into bed with them both, ended up screwing us royally. Us being the poor schmucks that scrabble around day to day just to pay the bills, who cant afford a holiday every two, or three years yet are told to protect the environment by using air planes less, by the same people who take five or six luxury breaks a quarter.

A mostly white, male centric, industry, ruled by individuals on six and seven figure salaries, are playing with our futures and losing our supermarket bought shirts in the process, sleeping like babies at night, with the taste of cocaine and stripper glitter still on their tongues. Our lives don’t matter to them, but they have affected every single facet of our existence, with their reckless stupidity.

They are white collar criminals and they are getting on with their lives, a few hundred thousand poorer, slightly inconvenienced, but free. Yet stealing a some Christmas presents for your kids because you’ve been laid off your job will get you a few years in the nick at the very least these days … not exactly a balanced justice system but, what do I know?

In the wake of the economic meltdown there has been a spate of murder suicides, quiet family men putting their families to bed for the final time and then ending their own lives just as tragically. Mental breakdowns, desperation and innocent lives lost, all because of the lack of a few pieces of paper with a promise from the criminals that caused this mayhem, to pay out the amount stated.

You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

Kurt Wendell is one such white collar employee, out on his backside with his office knick knacks in a box, in the wake of the finance industry’s cutbacks. This is truly the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Sick of living with son that constantly disappoints him, a daughter that is too precocious for her own good, and a wife who is cheating on him with the boss who gave him the chop, Kurt concocts a plan to make some drastic cutbacks of his own.

Premièred at the Bram Stoker Film Festival, Axed is an excellent little Brit Horror, and stings very close to home after similar, but not quite as drastic stories have been featuring more and more in the news in the past few years. It has a nice, sweeping pace, with subtle and clever scripting, as an avalanche of pent up family tension is unleashed in a pretty rental in the country. Well acted, and with Jonathan Hansler as our deranged protagonist, suitably dark humour, make this an above average horror thriller for fans of the low budget scene.

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