10X10 (2018): Revenge is a padded cell filled with your screams

One thing is certain. “10X10” breaks all records when speaking of resurrections. The number of times you see one of the two protagonists getting back on their feet again seemed endless. It looked like a newer version of “Night of the living dead“.

But this time with two stubborn non-zombies playing in it, whose resilience seemed superhuman. At one point I was more concerned with figuring out which of the two had the lowest IQ. Because you can’t keep up with the number of stupidities after a while. And finally, I also wondered at the end what statement Lewis (Luke Evans) would give about the whole event when the police show up on his driveway. It’s clear I didn’t really like this film. And that because of the accumulation of absurdities.

I wanted to see this movie solely because of Luke Evans appearing in it. Personally, I don’t think he’s a bad actor. He has a certain likable appearance. In my opinion, he didn’t act so bad in “No one lives” and “Message from the king“. He radiates a calmness and coolness. But here he also seems to have the gift of stupidity.

Or they tried to portray him as a real amateur. However, it all starts fairly intriguing. The patience with which Luke observes his future victim Cathy (Kelly Reilly) and the seemingly perfect way in which he carries out the abduction. From then on it started to look more like a slapstick than a nerve-racking thriller.

The abduction wasn’t perfect, but rather a combination of coincidences and pure luck. But for all we know, he could have been caught red-handed and taken into custody. On the other hand, would that be the case, this would have been a short movie. Speaking of luck-pushing.

The fact that “10X10” didn’t meet my expectations is, in my opinion, not due to the acting itself.

That wasn’t so bad. It was even reasonably convincing at times. I think that the script is the cause of this disappointment. And this because of a too limited story. How can you make a whopper of a film from a wafer-thin, simplistic plot? Even the Spielberg’s and George Lucas’s wouldn’t figure out how to do that. To be honest, it didn’t matter to me anymore who would die in the end. I was already satisfied that at least an acceptable playing time had been provided.

Luke Evans seems to be the go-to guy when it comes to being “that guy”, and if you liked him in No One Lives (I did) or Dracula Untold (meh) you’ll see some of that carry over here. Ride with me as I take you on a journey through the mind of a man on a mission for retribution.

As the film begins we see Lewis (Luke Evans) appear to be stalking Cathy (Kelly Reilly) as she goes about her day.

You see the interactions she has with other people and she seems to be well-liked and someone you’d root for. Lewis continues to follow Cathy who is completely oblivious until he strikes and then you see his true nature or is it?

After stealing her away to his home Lewis drags Cathy into a hidden, padded room within the walls. I was beginning to get deja vu of No One Lives as the film progressed but what I saw was quite different in that aspect. Cathy with hands tied behind her back makes every attempt to produce noise and find weaknesses in the room, in the hopes of escaping her predicament.

Cathy wants us to believe that her kidnapper wants to rape or kill her, but this is not Luke’s motivation for kidnapping Cathy. It’s something deeper, more personal and tragic to him that has driven him to the point of desperation. Unfortunately, Lewis isn’t the only one that is in desperation as Cathy proves to be a bit more of a handful than he expected. She does come off as innocent at first, but like a rat trapped in a cage or wild wounded animal backed into a corner, she is a force to be reckoned with!

Since the abduction, Lewis has asked Cathy only one question: What is your name? Each time she answers as Cathy.

This is when things not only seem weird but also begin to shed a little light on his motivation for taking her. 10×10 is really not about the padded soundproof room itself, but the idea of it because Cathy only spends a small amount of time within it. Everything else takes place outside of the padded room.

Lewis continues to grill her about her true identity, something that she tries desperately to hide from him and everyone else. Cathy is not the person she claims to be, but who she is is Lewis’s reasoning for snatching her in the first place, a murderer. A murderer who caused the death of someone close to him and was able to escape prosecution even after she was found out. And this did not sit well with him.

10×10 like Cathy’s character was no pushover. It started a little slow but picked up steam really quickly. I enjoyed both characters as they complemented each other even though the captive was slightly more adept at trickery and deception than the captor. But then again, the latter was not a psychopathic killer either. The Cathy character is definitely someone you can hate with a passion.


Rating: NR
Genre: Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Suzi Ewing
Stars: Kelly Reilly, Luke Evans, Noel Clarke
Written By: Noel Clarke
In Theaters: Apr 13, 2018 Limited
On Disc/Streaming: Apr 13, 2018
Runtime: 88 minutes
Studio: Vertical Entertainment


David Edelstein
A critic can’t say much about this movie except it works up a good amount of lather and how much you like it will depend on how surprised you are by its zigs and zags.

Glenn Kenny
The opening scenes of this thriller look and feel like something I’ve seen dozens, maybe hundreds, of times before.

Noel Murray
“10×10” overcomes limited locations and a slight narrative thanks to a plot that keeps viewers guessing, all the way from its shocking opening act of violence to a bruising and morally hazy final fight.

Josh Goller
Opts for a melodramatic thriller angle rather than psychological horror.

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