Sunday, July 18, 2010
Occasionally I throw in a movie review but I need to warn you about a few things concerning my review skills. First, I am not a reviewer nor a critic. Second, when I really like something, I really like something and when I dislike something, I really dislike it. Objectivity sometimes is not one of my better skills. So I hope I don't come off as some blue blooded Horror Connoisseur. I'm not. I do love Supernatural Horror though and it is my favorite genre. Now that all that is out of the way, here is a movie I hesitantly recommend, Parasomnia.
Parasomnia came out in 2008, never made much of a dent then went back into obscurity only to recently be released on DVD. It is written and directed by William Malone whose past credits include the remake of House on Haunted Hill. Always on the look out for obscure Horror that doesn't look like it was shot on a hand held cam corder I was interested and when I saw the cast I knew it was a must see for me. In fact I would surmise that much of the funds of this meager budgeted film was spent on the cast. Jeffery Combs, Timothy Bottoms, Sean Young, Patrick Kilpatrick and Kathryn Leigh Scott from Dark Shadows fame was a pretty impressive list for a low budget movie.
Now if you noticed I said I was hesitant to recommend this movie, it's true I am a tad hesitant. The concept behind the movie, the effects of the dream world as well as the inspirations that they are drawn from are very strong and potential. If this film had a proper budget it could have been so much more and in this is its failing. Not to sound too harsh but the lighting and the stark coloring in this movie rob it of its atmosphere and even sense of space. This is a movie that demanded a better budget for what what they did, you can definitely see the creative inspirations and also see where this movie could have been so much more.
The reason I do recommend this DVD is due to the imagery. A dream world inspired by polish artist Beksinski and also the inclusion of the automatons of Thomas Kuntz. Malone knows imagery I will give him that. Parasomnia was inspired by the classic Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and I have a feeling a slight nod to Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions. Working with a decent script and fine actors, Kilpatrick is at his sombre, creepy best as the serial killer hypnotist though I sadly found Jeffery Combs under used in another supporting cop role, the movie is a homage to the roots of pschyo~supernatural horror. The plot contains a female somnambulist and a childhood encounter that binds two people as lovers and locked into a dreamscape under the control of a Master Hypnotist. In this sense I applaud his efforts and the story is creative and in its own way a novel approach. The whole concept was pregnant with potential. It is just hard to get past it was shot in mainly in a warehouse and in that is its failing.
I will say this though, compared to the glut of cheaply made horror films that are flooding the market and the DVD rental shelves I will say Parasomnia was a pleasant surprise. It was a bold move to make such a creative vision so cheaply and hope for the best. It is a film that you will force yourself to like despite its shortcomings and one that will make you frustrated because it could have been so much more.
Just a note: Occasionally I will share a movie review here and there when I feel like I have found something that deserves attention. After all my intention is to point you into directions and discover things for oneself. If my nudge points you to something that you find interesting, curious or fascinating, then that was my intention.
You can purchase Parasomnia here at amazon or better yet give it a rent if you can find it in your local video rental.
Posted by Professor Pym at 7:08 PM