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Down Terrace

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Down Terrace

Sponsored by: Evokative Films

Canadian Premiere

  • England 2009
  • 89 min
  • HD
  • English
Hosted by director/co-writer Ben Wheatley

WINNER: Next Wave Award, Fantastic Fest 2009
WINNER: Raindance Award, British Independent Film Awards 2009
Official Selection, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010
Official Selection, Slamdance Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, AFI Dallas 2010


Crime / ThrillerAnimation

Screening Times

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“Zingy…. Caustic… In this kitchen-sink comedy, the greater psychopathological unit is the nuclear, not the crime, family” — Melissa Anderson, VILLAGE VOICE

“A fantastic film… so very remarkable” — William Gross, CINEMATICAL


Director: Ben Wheatley
Screenplay: Robin Hill, Ben Wheatley
Cast: Robert Hill, Robin Hill, Julia Deakin, Sara Dee, Mark Kempner, Kali Peacock, David Schaal
Producers: Andrew Starke
Print Source: Magnolia Pictures



A life of crime is not an easy one. It’s even harder when your entire family are criminals living under one roof! Karl (Robin Hill) has just gotten out of jail and returns home to find a pregnant girlfriend and aching questions as to who might have snitched on him. His father, Bill (Robert Hill), has also recently been released from the clink, and he shares his son’s obsession with finding an informer amongst their rogue’s gallery of law-smashing pals and hated family friends. Mum (Julia Deakin) is no less on edge, with a hair-trigger temper and a penchant for paranoia that leaves no gravestone unturned. And now, company’s coming over. In this house, full of people who seem to suspect each other of just about everything, blood pressure continuously rises until blood itself begins to flow. And it’s not particularly thicker than water.

Director/co-writer Ben Wheatley has spent the past decade sharpening his funnybone into a lethal weapon, directing acclaimed comedies for British television including MODERN TOSS and THE WRONG DOOR, knocking out award-winning commercials and creating hysterical comics and animated shorts, which you can check out at his website, mrandmrswheatley.blogspot.com. As a first feature, DOWN TERRACE is a wickedly brave choice, a marvel of high-strung drama, blacker-than-black wit and harrowing bursts of violence played against a very real, very angry backdrop of familial disintegration. It exists someplace on the cultural scale between Mike Leigh, Martin Scorsese and Norman Lear, and no matter what you go in expecting, it’s going to surprise you and leave you gobsmacked in its wake. The cast is absolutely inspired. Actual father-and-son leads Robin and Robert Hill bring incredible realism to their roles, Deakin is pure brilliance and many of you will notice several familiar faces from popular U.K. television shows like THE OFFICE, EXTRAS and SPACED. While Wheatley’s powerhouse industry cred could have afforded him a safer, bigger-budgeted big-screen debut, he instead opted to go the down and dirty route, shooting his film guerilla-style and on his own terms over a period of just eight days—in the house where star and co-writer Robert Hill grew up. The result is the quintessential no-budget miracle, a tight, perfected film, flawlessly performed and staged with astounding clarity of vision, that’s been blowing minds and winning critical accolades everywhere it’s been shown.

—Mitch Davis

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