The initial promise of Gary Love’s low-budget digital debut is deflated by the gnawing suspicion that it would be more comfortable in the ‘edgy’ 10pm slot on BBC2. Ashley Walters stretches his acting legs as babbling crack addict D, who lures disaffected city boy Tom (played by reliable TV staple Steven Mackintosh) to a dodgy estate on the promise of illicit kicks. Meanwhile, local crimeboss Hoodwink (an OTT Andy Serkis) discovers that he’s been robbed... Despite bursts of cinematic potential – in particular the great crane shot at the end of the movie – Sugarhouse never manages to outrun its stagey ambience (it’s adapted from Dominic Leyton’s play Collision). Feeling like a short that’s been stretched out and mugged of its unpredictable tensions, it’s a static slice of ghetto hell.
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