Married couple Fred (Sean Teale) and Marc (Tom Bateman) check in to a B&B run by Christian Josh (Paul McGann). From the moment they arrive, the couple is treated with hostility by Josh who refuses to give them a double bed or acknowledge that they are legally married. The arrival of brooding Russian Alexi (James Tratas) puts the couple on edge and the revelation that Josh’s son Paul (Callum Woodhouse) is ready to come out of the closet throws Fred and Marc’s planned quiet weekend into chaos.
B&B is the feature debut of director/writer Joe Ahearne, who has credits working on Doctor Who, This Life and The Secret of Crickley Hall. Essentially the film aims to be a dark thriller that puts the audience on edge while exploring provocative and social issues. The film doesn’t take long to ramp up as Fred becomes very suspicious once Alexi arrives and accidentally finds himself a confidant to Paul.
Where B&B falls down is in its total lack of logic. Fred and Marc make it clear that they’ve been at the hotel before, and in fact a legal battle put Josh in debt when the couple won, so it’s unclear why they would put themselves through Josh’s hostility once again. Fred is on the edge from the moment they arrive so surely he would never have agreed to go back? Marc’s motivation seems to be to bait Josh and make him uncomfortable but I just didn’t really believe it.
The third act descends into a bit of a mess as a pivotal event ups the stakes and pushes the characters to the limits. The problem is that the characters are so two dimensional, that you never really care about them. There is no growth or change for any of the characters, and their actions don’t make a whole lot of sense. Paul is a stereotypical odd ball so it’s no surprise in terms of the direction his character goes.
Performance wise the cast for the most part are fine. Paul McGann is typically understated and he does a good job despite not having a lot to work with. Tom Bateman and Sean Teale are adequate but their performances are a little one note. It’s likely down to the writing but they don’t get much opportunity to veer from their key character traits of stubborn and whiney respectively.
There’s a good idea in there somewhere but B&B isn’t a great watch. It trades believability for cheap thrills and that didn’t do a great deal for me. It could have been leaner in terms of the script and the characters deserved to be more than two-dimensional stereotypes.
Cast: Tom Bateman, Paul McGann, Sean Teale, Callum Woodhouse, James Tratas Director: Joe Ahearne Writer: Joe Ahearne Certificate: 15 Duration: 86 mins Released by: Peccadillo Pictures Release date: 23rd October 2017