Punch (2024) Paves the way for a new era in British horror

Directed by: Andy Edwards

Starring: Kierston Wareing, Jamie Lomas, Mark Sears, Alina Allison,

Synopsis: A night out on the town turns into a terrifying fight for survival when a masked killer named Mr. Punch stalks a college student and her friends.

In the twisted corridors of horror cinema, one name emerges as the mastermind behind the dark tapestry of “Punch” – none other than the brilliant director and writer, Andy Edwards. With a deft touch and a penchant for pushing boundaries, Edwards weaves a narrative that not only taps into the pulse of contemporary horror but dives headfirst into the unexplored depths of British seaside town dread.

Edwards’ vision for “Punch” goes beyond the conventional slasher tropes, infusing the film with a fresh, folklore-laden perspective. As a director, he orchestrates the slow burn of tension with precision, planting seeds of mythology that blossom into a full-blown nightmare. The transition from local legend to malevolent force is a testament to Edwards’ ability to craft a narrative that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, always yearning for the next dark revelation.

But Edwards isn’t content with merely scaring his audience. He captures the essence of sleepy seaside towns with an uncanny accuracy – the isolation, the despair, and the eerie quiet that amplifies the horror. From closed funfairs to silent arcades, every frame speaks to Edwards’ keen understanding of atmosphere, making the setting as much a character as the masked Mr. Punch himself.

In addition to his directorial prowess, Edwards showcases his writing finesse by injecting a soap opera feel into the film’s first act. The juxtaposition of grounded realism against the impending horror amplifies the impact of the eventual descent into madness. Edwards sets the stage, carefully laying out the pieces for a satisfying setup and a blood-soaked payoff.

Punch (2023) - Movie Review

As the puppet master behind “Punch,” Andy Edwards doesn’t just create a horror film; he crafts an experience. His brilliance shines through in every frame, transforming a potentially missed opportunity into a gripping exploration of coastal nightmares. With a visionary like Edwards at the helm, “Punch” becomes more than a slasher; it becomes a testament to the untapped potential of British horror, leaving audiences eager for the next dark tale he weaves into the fabric of the genre.

As the coastal horror escapade unfolds in “Punch,” a star rises above the eerie waves, and her name is Alina Allison. In a performance that echoes through the twisted alleys of the British seaside, Allison’s portrayal of Frankie sets a new standard for final girls, crowning her the UK’s inaugural “scream queen” of 2024.

Allison’s portrayal of Frankie, the soon-to-be university student facing a nightmarish farewell celebration, is nothing short of spectacular. Her nuanced delivery captures the essence of terror and resilience, proving that she’s not just a victim but a force to be reckoned with. As Mr. Punch’s deadly game ensnares the coastal town, Allison’s performance anchors the film, turning her character into the embodiment of survival and grit.

In a genre often dominated by shadows and screams, Alina Allison’s standout performance in “Punch” shines as a beacon. Her ability to navigate the murky waters of horror, from the initial soap opera feel to the gut-wrenching climax, cements her as the UK’s first final girl “scream queen” of the year. With each spine-chilling scream and every pulse-pounding escape, Allison not only elevates “Punch” but sets a thrilling precedent for the future of British horror cinema.

As we navigate the treacherous waters of terror, let Alina Allison’s performance in “Punch” be the lighthouse guiding us to a new era of horror excellence. In a film where nightmares come to life, Allison emerges as the scream queen we didn’t know we needed – a beacon of fear and fortitude that leaves an indelible mark on the British horror landscape of 2024.

Kierston Wareing emerges as the emotional anchor, portraying a desperate and lonely mother yearning to keep her daughter close. Wareing’s performance is nothing short of a knockout. She immerses herself in the role, delivering a performance that resonates with authenticity and emotional depth. Every nuance speaks volumes, ensuring that not a moment feels phoned in – a testament to Wareing’s dedication to her craft.

Jamie Lomas, in his role as Elton,, injects a vibrant intensity into the screen. Known for his cheeky chappy, dapper persona, Lomas adds a layer of complexity that keeps the audience on edge. While his character exudes charm, there’s an unmistakable sense that something darker may be lurking beneath the surface. Lomas brings a raw, unfiltered intensity to the role, creating a character that is as intriguing as he is enigmatic. His performance serves as a magnetic force, leaving audiences questioning the shadows that dance around his character.

What’s truly remarkable is the commitment of talents like Kierston Wareing and Jamie Lomas to support indie gems like “Punch.” In a genre often overshadowed by blockbuster productions, their presence not only adds star power but also lends credibility to the indie film scene. Wareing and Lomas, with their stellar performances, elevate “Punch” beyond the realm of a typical slasher, turning it into a showcase of the compelling narratives that can unfold when seasoned talents embrace indie cinema.

“Punch” emerges as a captivating addition to the British horror scene, offering a thrilling investment of your time. Andy Edwards, the maestro behind the lens, concocts a tale that seamlessly blends murder, mystery, and gore, delivering a cinematic experience that doesn’t disappoint. Once the story kicks into high gear, it transforms into a crowd-pleaser, with its own unique brand of horror that leaves a lasting impression.

In a genre that often craves a distinctive slasher, “Punch” steps up to the plate, introducing Mr. Punch as a potential iconic killer. Andy Edwards skillfully weaves a narrative that not only satisfies the appetite for blood and chills but also injects a dose of fun into the mix. The film becomes a rollercoaster of horror, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating the next gruesome twist.

A special shout-out is due to stuntman and martial artist Mark Sears, who breathes life into the character of Mr. Punch. Sears’s physicality and skill bring an extra layer of authenticity to the terror, making the masked killer a formidable force on the screen. His contribution adds a tangible intensity to the film, showcasing the collaborative effort that makes “Punch” a standout in the horror landscape.

As the credits roll, “Punch” showcases the creativity and potential within the British horror genre. It’s not just a film; it’s a celebration of murder, mystery, and gore that’s orchestrated to entertain and terrify. With Mr. Punch emerging as a potential slasher icon, and the commendable work of talents like Mark Sears, “Punch” paves the way for a new era in British horror, proving that the appetite for scares is alive and well on these shores.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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