"It's nice to see a small budget, independent British film managing to punch above its weight"


Scar Tissue is a crime story set in London with a few darker strokes of horror; eye balls ripped out and glued to the wall, a madman's hysteric laughter with knife in hand and mischievous panting in the shadows. But the close attention to the main characters and how they are developed adds a layer of maturity to what is an entertaining nail-biting thriller.

Starting in the past, the film begins with the execution of a serial killer called Edward Jansen. Twenty years later, his signature slashing re-appears in a new victim, a friend of seemingly ordinary 21-year old Luke Denham (Danny Horn). Danny receives a video message on his phone to “Find the girl, and find the truth”. The girl turns out to be Samantha Cross (Charity Wakefield), a neurotic suspended sergeant with a pink streak in her fringe and a mean straight punch. Her 10-year-old sister was the last person Edward Jansen murdered, and now he seems to have come out to play again. Together through trips to seedy strip clubs, the morgue and crime scenes, Sam and Luke try to figure out what is going on before even more people have their guts torn out. Are they dealing with a serial-killer zombie? Or is there something even more twisted going on?

Despite such a small cast, the ending was completely unexpected to me. I was a little bit disappointed as I was expecting it to go out on a loud bang, but it ends on a rather philosophical note about the question of nature vs nurture when it comes to creating evil. 



I liked Scott Michell’s Scar Tissue. It's nice to see a small budget, independent British film managing to punch above its weight. The plot moves along quickly and keeps us on the edge of our seat and there is even a nod towards science fiction. The execution is stylish. The impressive electronic score, softened with string quartets where needed, created by Mark Ayres also adds to the hyperbolic state.  It's packed with plenty of punchy dry-humoured one-liners which lighten the mood as well as the sometimes pretty inventive swearing combinations. 

The fine acting carries the small production into something with integrity. Charity Wakefield (Sense & Sensibility, Mockingbird Lane, The Raven) proves herself as an actress with more depth and breadth than her costume dramas has previously let her reveal. Danny Horn makes a great feature film screen debut and it will be interesting to follow what will come next for him. 

The film also stars Shaun Dingwall (Dr Who, Rock & Chips), Helen George (Call The Midwife), Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner, Plebs) and Kenneth Colley (most famous for playing Admiral Piett in the original Star Wars trilogy and Jesus in Monty Python’s Life of Brian).

Scar Tissue is a stellar British indie film with good performances and is very entertaining. It shows that all the murder mystery TV series haven't managed to kill off the thrill of the equivalent feature film. Its blade is just as sharp.