Friday, 26 December 2014

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: STONEHEARST ASYLUM


31/2/5

A young man arrives to a far away asylum to become a doctor. Soon enough he discovers that something is not quite right with the place.The strange behaviour of both patients and personnel is alarming and a bizarre secret is hidden in the dungeons underneath the building. When the secret is revealed the young man has to choose sides, but all he can think of is a beautiful patient Eliza Graves. Is she as dangerous as she is beautiful?

Among many interpretations of the Edgar Allan Poe's stories only a few remain true to original. STONEHEARST ASYLUM managed to capture well the atmosphere of the short story "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" it is based on. At the time when Poe wrote the story the reformation of insane asylums was a political issue. While the patients were treated like prisoners the real criminals, killers and such, used asylums to avoid punishment. Now days the story of a young man, venturing into the menacing and strange place that harbours a secret, can hardly can be considered political. But thriller is not all that STONEHEARST ASYLUM is. 

It is probably the least scary film by director Brad Anderson, a man behind the The Machinist with Cristian Bale  and The Call with Holly Berry. He had turned the creepy plot into a love story, putting the character of Kate Beckinsale, Eliza Graves, at the heart of it all. She is a catalyst for all the bad and good things to happen in the movie, and an interesting role for Beckinsale, who proves she can easily switch between dangerous and distressed. It is also entertaining to watch Ben Kingsley and Michael Cain going head to head in supporting, but significant roles - two man possessed with their own kind of madness.  

STONEHEARST ASYLUM has much action, but it will rarely keep you on the age of your seat. After revealing the main twist less than a half way into the film the story then asks some interesting questions about the true nature of confinement and what is the real difference between the oppressors and oppressed. Then comes the ending that you will not see coming.  This is one of this magical moments that will put a big satisfying grin on your face. 

I highly recommend to watch this, a little unusual, gothic love story, which carries a not so original, but comforting statement - a sick mind can be healed by the true feelings of ones heart.

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