Director John Boorman’s autobiographical film looks at the Blitz through the eyes of nine-year-old Billy (Sebastian Rice Edwards). For adults this was a time of fear and mortal danger but not for a small boy. To Billy and his friends the bombs and shells are a glorious firework display while ruined houses are simply an adventure playground. With his father called up Billy and his sister (Sammi Davis) live with their mother (Sarah Miles) in London suburbia. But then their house is burnt down and they go to stay with granddad (Ian Bannen in great form) on the Thames at Shepperton. To turn the Blitz into a joyful comedy drama is some achievement but Boorman has managed it.
The residents of a tower block awake to find themselves sealed in their building, with the power cut off and sinister figures in radiation suits patrolling the area. A very real fear of dread permeates this contemporary urban horror.