Exhibit A (2007)
Exhibit A (film)
Exhibit A is a 2007 British independent psychological thriller film directed by Dom Rotheroe and produced by Darren Bender for Warp Films. The film is an example of the found footage genre and stars Bradley Cole, Brittany Ashworth, Angela Forrest and Oliver Lee. It was filmed on location in Yorkshire and Suffolk and released on 1 October 2007 at the Raindance Film Festival. It was the last film that prolific stuntman Roy Alon worked on.
This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (September 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Judith King (known as "Angel" by her father) lives with her brother (Joe), dad (Andy) and mum (Sheila) in the UK. Judith has been given a video camera to replace another that had gotten broken. At first the family seems incredibly happy, caring and fun-loving. Judith is becoming withdrawn though; she is a lesbian and hasn't come out to her family yet, and she has a crush on Claire, a teenage girl across the street who sunbathes in a bikini. She often spies on Claire and films her from the bedroom window. While at a beach trip to see their new house, Judith tries to convince her dad not to make the family move away, but is unable to tell him about her crush on Claire. She records the situation on her new camera and also reveals that she is an avid photographer. While filming Claire, she gets caught by Andy's businessman friend, Ray, who seems to figure out why Judith is so secretive, however he keeps her secret and says nothing about Claire in front of Judith's parents. Joe soon catches Judith filming Claire too but Judith hides under a table before Claire can catch her.
Andy is trying to get a promotion but financial strain and pressure from the family begin to push him further from reality. He begins smoking (Judith films him with a night vision filter), having mood swings and even builds a swimming pool much to Sheila's annoyance. She tells him he needs to grow up and see reality because they are trying to sell the house, not add to it. Judith becomes terrified when she films Andy coming home with blood on his clothes at night. When Shelia asks him what happened, he reveals that unfortunately Ray was injured and has had half his face torn off. The doctors don't know if Ray will be able to talk again. Shelia feels bad for Ray because in this state he will most likely lose his salesman job, and Judith believes that there's something more sinister going on. It begins to seem likely that Andy is not going to get the promotion or be able to sell the house, and this leaves him more and more mentally unbalanced. Shelia begins to frequently fight and argue with him. One night Judith hides in the garden and Andy tries to grab her; she screams and runs back inside, locking the door behind her in her bedroom. Joe begins to hate Andy and swears at him, belittles him and tells him how much he resents him. This is especially evident when Andy tries to film a video to send to a reality television company in exchange for money and Joe goofs off repeatedly. Judith also finds a garbage bag full of hundreds of used lottery tickets belonging to Andy.
When the new pool is built, the Kings hold a pool party during their open house, playing fun music and throwing a barbecue with lots of food. Judith is saddened that Andy did not invite Ray, but Ray finds out about the party anyway and shows up, getting angry and nearly attacking Andy. Ray appears to be going through some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder and half is face is bandaged. Andy escorts him outside, and unknown to him, Judith follows with her video camera. She ends up discovering that Ray thinks Andy was the one who injured him and Ray's speech is slurred from the damage to his face. Andy tells him off but then Ray drives away and mentions that Andy just wanted to try to take his job away, revealing that Andy has been lying to the family about the future of his career and that Ray got the promotion over him. Andy grabs onto Ray's taxi but falls over on his face instead. Judith becomes extremely worried about the state of her family. Andy tries to show her video camera to the guests only to discover to his horror that Judith has been filming all of his weird outbursts and behavioral issues.
Unable to afford their new dream house, the Kings hole up in their old house and Judith earns a new nickname from Andy - "our resident snoop". Appalled, Sheila goes to work and the kids go to school. Andy explores the house and discovers, while filming with the video camera, that Shelia has a dildo locked up in the bedside table and that she favours Joe over Judith as a result of post-partom depression she suffered years ago. He also finds a photo of himself on Joe's dartboard with a dart stuck in it. He finds that Joe has a stash of illegal drugs, and a video of Joe getting a blowjob from Claire - in Andy and Sheila's bedroom. He eventually discovers a secret shrine in a box that Judith has built with photos of Claire in a bikini, realizing that this is why Judith never wanted to move away. On camera, Andy admits that he was the one who hurt Ray to try and get the promotion while Ray was incapacitated.
Upon returning home, Shelia, Judith and Joe go to bed but are woken up by a smoke alarm in the house. They discover that Andy, having a mental breakdown, has locked all the doors and windows and has shut off the lights. He then reveals everything he has discovered about the dysfunctional family, including Judith's secret infatuation with Claire. Judith is devastated that her father would betray her trust and privacy, and Shelia and Joe realize that enough is enough - either they have to leave or Andy does. An angry Sheila also blurts out that years ago she was pregnant with Andy's third child, but she secretly aborted it because she feared another depressive episode.
The next day, Judith returns home from a visit with Claire to discover that her father is about to commit suicide on camera. Horrified, she hugs him and cries, only to be choked or smothered to death by Andy. He goes upstairs and bludgeons Joe to death as well before bringing his body downstairs. Sheila walks downstairs following Andy’s unsuccessful attempt to kill her in the same manner, and screams when she discovers Andy piling the children's bodies together. He murders Sheila by repeatedly whacking her head against the floor, and then tells them he's going to be back with his family. He hits the camera causing it to roll in front of Judith's face which reveals she is still alive as her breath is visible on the lens. Andy then whacks and breaks the camera one final time before the credits roll. Judith's fate left unknown.
- Bradley Cole - Andy King
- Brittany Ashworth - Judith King
- Angela Forrest - Sheila King
- Oliver Lee - Joe King
- Jason Allen - Wayne
- Charles Davies - Ray
- Emily Button - Claire
- Belinda Lazenby - Mo
- David Walker - Mike
- Terry Mann - Stu
- Dennis Turner - Mr Miller
- John Douglas - John
- Helen Fell - Sales Assistant
The film previewed at film festivals internationally throughout 2007 and 2008 with screenings at the Raindance Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Sofia International Film Festival and Febiofest Prague, and then received a limited cinematic release. The film became available on DVD in USA on 16 March 2010 the UK on 21 June 2010 and available to stream online through the Video on Demand service MUBI in September 2010.
Awards and reception
The film received a positive critical reception on its release. The film was awarded the title of 'Best UK Feature' at the Raindance Film Festival and was subsequently nominated in three categories - 'Best Newcomer', 'The Raindance Award', and 'Best Achievement in Production' at the British Independent Film Awards. Reviews have described the film variously as 'A masterpiece of gradually escalating horror' and, 'An Ingenious and Compelling Thriller' with emphasis falling on the performances of the actors Bradley Cole and Brittany Ashworth who give 'stand out turns'.