This brief film explores social injustice and attempts to address the class divide in modern Britain, with the issues of knife crime and culture clashes brought to the fore. However, the wooden dialogue and clichéd storylines make the viewer lose interest after a mere 30 minutes. With its single room setting and lacklustre characters, 'Cherry Tree Lane' would have been more effective as a Channel 4 drama.
We are introduced to middle-class couple Christine (Blake) and Mike (Butcher) as they settle down for a tension-filled dinner. After watching every morsel of food go into their mouths, we are eventually 'saved by the bell' from a mundane conversation about the wife's marital mishap a few years back.
As Christine potters off to answer the door of her beautiful suburban home, she is greeted by three teenage hooligans, Asad (Chin), Rian (Hunter) and Teddy (Muslim), who are seeking revenge on her tell-tale son, Sebastian (Kane).
While waiting for Sebastian to arrive, the youngsters make themselves at home by raiding a few food presses and bagging some loot from the bedrooms. With dad Mike securely duct-taped to the floor and the distraught Christine slumped on the couch, the hoodlums seize the opportunity to partake in a bit of violence and debauched acts. Thankfully, the more ghastly proceedings are all off camera.
The thugs are unexpectedly talkative, often disclosing their thoughts and emotions and testing the assumptions of the imprisoned couple. One of the 'tough guys', Asad, has his moment of glory as he rants on about his life and how he turned out the way he did. It might have been intriguing if it was an original tale, but it's all too well-known and director Williams has nothing to propose as a resolution to the social dilemma either.
'Cherry Tree Lane' depends on the audience feeling intimidated and fearful for the claustrophobic victims locked in the house. However, as much as you want to empathise with the frightened duo, it is difficult to do so as we only get a glimpse into their personalities. It is, quite frankly, made far too easy for viewers not to care about what happens to the couple, and even their son.
After 78 meaningless minutes and a cheap shot ending, it is only the audience that are left feeling tortured.