Thursday, 2 May 2013

Tower Seven

As you know, I love everything in the world, with the exception of three things. One of those things that I love is films set in tower blocks.

Last year there were (at least) three films set in tower blocks, presumably because they make good settings for confined action, while making a comment on broken promises of post-war affluence. Or something. So here are my top 7 films set in tower blocks, because of the name of the Thievery Corporation song. 

7. Dredd (2012)

Karl Urban's chin fights its way up a 200-storey tower block in this explosive comic book adaptation that's loved by people who haven't seen The Raid

6. The Negotiator (1998)

Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey star in a gripping thriller about a hostage negotiator who ends up taking hostages himself in, you guessed it, a tower block. According to IMDb, Sylvester Stallone was meant to star but turned it down, as part of his ongoing refusal to be in good films. 

5. Tower Block (2012, again)

This aptly-titled British thriller sees the residents of a decrepit tower block (where else?) trapped by a sniper. It's a nicely tense piece of writing by James Moran, who joins Caitlin and Dylan in the ranks of great Morans. 

4. Attack the Block (2011)

Joe Cornish's debut feature is a quotable comedy in which aliens invade a South London bungalow. Just kidding, it's a tower block.

3. Shivers (1975)

A sexually-transmitted parasite spreads through a Canadian tower block, causing rampant sexual desire and icky bodily mutations in its residents. This was the breakthrough film for the master of body horror David Cronenberg, and bizarrely was co-produced by his friend Ivan Reitman, who would go on to make weird comedies starring Arnold Schwarzenneger. Actually, the films of Reitman and Cronenberg aren't so different; Twins is like Dead Ringers (which was even going to be called Twins until Reitman bought the title from Cronenberg), Kindergarten Cop is like Eastern Promises (spoiler alert) and Junior is like The Brood (and practically everything Cronenberg has done). 

2. Die Hard (1988)

I don't need to say anything about Die Hard. Bruce Willis, tower block, increasingly shit sequels. Next!

1. The Raid (2012, again, again.)

The best tower block film has to be this head-hammeringly violent Indonesian martial arts movie, about a police squad's brutal battle up a run-down high-rise. Watch it. Your jaw will be in your throat and your heart will be on the floor. I can't wait for the sequel - and that's a sentence I never thought I'd say.

Thanks for reading, and there's a prize for whoever can spot the odd one out, visually speaking... I'll leave you with the Thievery Corporation song responsible for this whole sorry affair. Next time, my Shed Seven!


  1. Shivers is the odd one out. Where can I cash this gigantic novelty cheque?