Surveillance is the second proper film by Jennifer Lynch, who previous made the film Boxing Helena – which was not about Boxing. Appropriately one could think of plenty of films which could more appropriately be called Surveillance*. Whilst a few CCTV style cameras are employed in the making of the film, they really are not central to the plot. And whilst there is a theme within the film about the reliability of verbal reports over a visual representation, none of that really earns the films title.

Aha, you will say, that would be a typical Lynchian misdirection, where the Lynch in question would be David Jennifer’s father.As opposed to Jennifer’s own misdirection of Boxing Helena (for which read poor direction). But the film isn’t quite that clever, but luckily is better for it. Oddly the fact that Surveillance is a really rather simple serial filler movie with one big, obvious twist in it is fine. Because what you get to see is how Lynch directs this pretty ho-hum material. And she directs it pretty well. With the exception of one scene where Bill Pullman acts very badly, the film is tight as a drum, compelling and interesting. And whilst anyone who has attended Twists 101 will not be surprised by the twist, it is done with such solid conviction that you appreciate the craft.

All of which is good for Lynch as it is a little unclear with Boxing Helena whether the problem is the script, the dumb idea or the direction – not that this excuses Lynch as she wrote it too. She does all three here too, this suggests she should perhaps step away from the writing and just get good at directing, but she has churned out a satisfying B-movie here (it sat nicely before Gun Crazy). Its nasty, violent, darkly funny and shouldn’t disappoint you on DVD. Which is where it should live: after all it has got Michael Ironside in it.

Feel free to speculate on the twist from the poster. Its pretty obvious.

Off the top of my head: Enemy Of The State, Saw, Red Road, the Conversation, The Lives Of Others, Baby Geniuses.