“Accused” Review: A Taut Thriller (The Overlook Film Festival 2023)

Alone at a remote country house, a young man (Chaneil Kular, Sex Education) watches helplessly as a social media frenzy wrongly identifies him as a wanted terrorist. When online threats lead to an IRL home invasion, he must fight for his life in this tense thriller of virtual witch-hunts and false accusations.


“Accused” is a taut thriller that is like the film “Profile” that came out a few years ago. The film follows a young man who is suspected of committing an act of terrorism just because a former classmate says his looks match the bomber. What director Philip Barantini does here with the tension is surreal as the techniques he uses mimics films like “Profile” and “Searching” with the conventional narrative. The best moments from the film that create anxiety towards its audience are when the rumors spread rapidly like wildfire with a million retweets and articles coming out accusing Chaneil Kular’s character as he haplessly watches in fear and distress.

Eventually all the rumors online get to Chaniel’s character when he notices his significant other isn’t picking up his calls. Vigilantes start showing up to his flat and showing vandalism online, he then calls the police with a frantic voice pleading with them that it wasn’t him that committed the bombing. Of course, while he is making the call people are outside his parents’ house throwing rocks and bricks to break in. The suspense in this sequence is reminiscent of “The Strangers: Prey at Night”.

The only downside of “Accused” is the script by Barnaby Boulton and James Cummings is uneven and does not do a well enough job of developing supporting characters, including Chaneil’s girlfriend. I feel like that was a missed opportunity there. Even with the phone calls “Accused” could have been a mix of “Profile” and “Locke” instead Chaneil’s acting, and Philip’s direction helped elevate the film.

Overall Grade: 2.5/5 Stars

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