Directed by Drew Casson
After a strange thunderstorm hits Hungerford, flat mates Cowen, Kipper, Phil (Philippa) and her brother Adam sense that all is not right in their usually peaceful English town. When their local postman becomes hostile and attempts to kill them, the four friends discover something that threatens the human race, as they must fight for their survival and friendship.
HUNGERFORD is the debut feature film from 19 yeard old, Drew Casson, who’s been creating short films since the age of 12. Shot in the style of found footage, using both GoPro’s and DSLR’s, the film is presented initially as part of Cowen’s college project but soon after the thunderstorm, it becomes a way of documenting his survival and to show others what eventually unfolds in Hungerford.
Made on a micro budget, HUNGERFORD is an impressive display of what can be achieved with some technical know how, skill and passion for movie making. An amateur cast band together to create the four housemates and their bond seems genuine, particularly between Cowen and Adam, so it comes as no surprise that the actors playing these two characters have worked together before. Georgia Bradley stars as confident Phil, sister to Adam and friends with Cowen and Kipper, though her feelings for Cowen seem to suggest more than just a friendship, even if the feeling isn’t mutual. Sam Carter plays nerdish Kipper, who’s staight style sees him away from the gritty action but a solid force to be relied upon when in need. Tom Scarlett is the rogue who gets himself into mischief but never means any harm as Adam, whilst director Drew Casson stars as the main character Cowen, a layabout who spends most of his time fantasizing about his on/off relationship with Janine (Kitty Speed), that is until havoc hits Hungerford and he’s forced to lead his friends to safety.
Though the plotline isn’t exactly original, Drew Casson and his team bring a fresh take on the genre with their own twist. The human side of the story is developed in depth, highlighting the relationships between the young adults. Once the threat has hit Hungerford, the group have to grow up real fast and leave the comfort and safety of their flat to venture into the wild, alone.
Director Drew Casson is clearly a talented guy. Not only does he direct and star in the film as main character Cowen, he also edited the movie, co-wrote the film with Wildseed Studio’s Jesse Cleverly and handled the visual FX, something he seems to be a dab hand at judging from his experimentation of creating Heroes type superpowers on YouTube. The use of CGI is excellent, and is subtle enough to inject the right amount of fear into the film without it bordering into The Asylum/SyFy territory.
The setting of the town of Hungerford becomes a character in itself as Cowen and his friends suddenly become afraid to even venture outdoors. Each time they cross a street, or stand too long in one spot, leaves them exposed to the evil that roams Hungerford, particularly at the old factory. Their home becomes a living nightmare as the world around them distintegrates into chaos. The camera work and performances do a good job of portraying this, as well as the cleverly shot scenes of Cowen and co. peeping around walls. Drew Casson clearly knows how to get more out of limited resources, creating the illusion of something more ambitious than what they’re able to shoot.
HUNGERFORD takes a new approach to found footage, and Drew Casson’s debut feature effort proves you can achieve your goals with a little skill and ingenuity. HUNGERFORD is an entertaining watch, delivering the panic and tension through it’s sci-fi plot, as well as conveying the human angle of growing up. I cannot wait to see what Drew Casson has planned next.