Film Review: Trentside

Words: Georgianna Scurfield
Wednesday 20 June 2018
reading time: min, words

I’m going to lay it out like it is. Trentside by Charlie Delaney a cracking film. It’s 30 minutes of beautiful cinematography and proper good story-telling.


Film: Trentside

Director: Charlie Delaney

Running Time: 30 mins

It’s a psychological thriller set in the skateboarding sub-culture, which tells the story of a troubled skater trying to understand whether the mysterious ghost he’s seeing is a real supernatural entity, or just his imagination.

The narrative is subtly laced with a couple of important issues, such as the way it depicts mental health. The main protagonist, Sterling (Joshua Barrett), struggles with the institutionalism of education and as a result, sees a counsellor on a regular basis. It’s during these sessions that the audience see more depth to his character and begin to understand his story.

Weird goings on start cracking off when Sterling finds a reel of super 8 film in an old, unused, buildings at Trentside, and these counselling sessions provides an insight into how he’s dealing with the unnatural happenings.

One of the most endearing things about this film is that it’s so, very, Notts. There are scenes filmed on trams, on Trent Bridge and at the Savoy cinema. The Nottingham city scape is a constant in the background of a lot of the film. Occasionally you’ll also see Sneinton and the council house popping into shot.

The characters feel familiar, like you’ve bumped into them in the street at some point, which makes the scary shit more scary.

The believability is what sets the film apart, even with the small things like the set up of the main character’s bedroom. The inclusion of a scene featuring a rave at the DIY skate park, which actually wasn’t set up, allows you to be swept up in the world of 90s skating.


I’m choosing my words very carefully because, without wanting to give away any spoilers, it’s important for me to talk about the plot twist. The other key issue explored in the film is the marginalisation of skaters. Set in the DIY skate spot at Trentside, Ozzie (Dean Morris) is concerned that the area is at risk of being redeveloped, which is why he’d planted the super eight film reel that Sterling found at the beginning. This film echoes the problems skaters have IRL. This is evident through the fact that the skate spot used to shoot the film has now, really been redeveloped. I KNOW RIGHT! Weird.

The film is a pleasure to watch; think plenty of slow mo skating, flashlight lens flares and little robins flying into shot at the perfect timing, the DoP David Andrew Smith really brings the film to life. Pair that with a thoughtful use of audio, which can be credited to the very talented Fred West - you hear the burning of a cigarette and the dripping of the disused building perfectly - and you have yourself an immersive, edge of your seat thriller that feels like it could really happen… which is actually quite concerning

This is a low budget film that didn’t get the crowd funding and support that it deserved from the beginning. But because of the film-making wizardry from Charlie Delaney and the quality acting from Dean Morris and Joshua Barrett, the production value was high. If this is what he can produce on a skin and bone budget, I cannot wait to see what he can do with more support from us all.


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