Locke (Steven Knight, 2014)

Films are usually ridiculously expensive to make, I mean ‘Avatar’ (James Cameron, 2009) had a budget of 237 million. However, sometimes you get films that seem like you could have made it yourself and probably would have cost you just the camera. Now, these types of films are usually horror movies. Some great examples include ‘Paranormal Activity’ (Oren Peli, 2009) which cost about $16,000 to make but made an almighty sum of 193.4 million in box office and ‘The Blaire Witch Project’ (Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick, 1999) which cost between $25,000- $60,000 and made 248.6 million.  And now in 2014 we get ‘Locke’ the winner of the British Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay, another great movie that seems like all they used was a camera, a car, a voice recorder and a few actors.  Yes, Locke cost around £2 million to make but unfortunately only made around £5 million in box office. I believe that the £2 million was caused mostly by the fact that they hired the incredible Tom Hardy to play the main role and had voices from our very own Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott).


Locke is a film that consists of one present character Iven Locke (Tom Hardy) a construction worker, father and husband. All we get to see for about an hour and a half is his drive from Birmingham to London.  But we get to listen to a number of phone calls that he makes throughout his long drive. He phones his wife, his two sons, his work and the mother of his new born (yes a different character from his wife). For the length of the film we get to hear his life fall to pieces as he losses all he loves within one drive.


This incredibly simple and realistic film manages to hold the attention of the audience by only focusing on a very close up view of Tom Hardy (that’s all I need to see to be honest). But it’s is not the visuals that make this narrative form, it’s the sound. We get an entire story through the voice on the end of the phone and Locke’s reactions. We feel true worry for his work, anger for the mother of his new born and empathy for his two boys and wife. It’s the incredible voice acting that really brings this story together. Anyone who said that sound is not that important in films just show them this work of art and I promise you they will change their mind.  However, if you were worried that all you get to look at is the beautiful Tom Hardy, you get to see the odd shot of the road and a few road signs. I found it incredibly fun to point out where he is in Birmingham as I live about five minutes away from where the film began (great , now you know where I live).


On the other hand, from the eyes of a media student I find this to be an incredible film that caused me to literally geek out about the use of sound in the film but if you aren’t really into that then it may not be your cup of tea.  I first watched this in my room on my own (yeah great Thursday night) and loved it. I then watched it again with my flat mate the next day and she made me turn it off because she thought it was boring. We then put on ‘Unfriended’ (Leo Gabriadze, 2015), which is pretty similar to the very cheap budget horror film that turns out to be pretty good.

Side note: Unfriended cost $1 million and made $ 64.1 million at the box office. – Moral of the story make high quality but low budget horror films for a living and you will be rich!


Now that I have hyped up the voice acting, the physical acting is also truly convincing. Tom Hardy is able to show all the emotion expected, considering the fact that he probably didn’t have the phone calls whilst recording. He really makes the film because if he wasn’t in it, then the car would still be parked.

‘Wow what a great BMW commercial’

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.

Check out my review on


Warrior (Gavin O’Connor, 2011)



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