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This movie so easily could had turned into an average and very typical thriller with horror tendencies, set in an abandoned insane asylum. The movie however takes an original and not so typical approach with its premise and story. Not that the movie works out very surprising but it yet manages to work refreshing.

Guess you could say that Brad Anderson is a very underrated director, were it not for the fact that he has also done some really bad stuff in his career. He also raised his own bar high with the 2004 movie "The Machinist", so every other movie directed by him feels like a sort of a disappointment when it just isn't as good and original as "The Machinist". It of course doesn't mean that his other movies are truly that bad. Just take this movie for instance. Even though it got made 3 years prior to "The Machinist" it definitely shares some similarities with it, in its style and themes. No, it isn't as good and not half as surprising but within its genre this movie still really remains a truly good one, that still feels far more original and creative than the average genre attempt.

It's a movie that gets slowly build up. A bit too slow you could say, since there isn't really an awful lot good, tense or freaky happening in its first hour or so, when you really start analyzing it. But a slow buildup isn't always necessarily a bad thing, as long as it has a good payoff. A reason why you remain on your seat and something that keep your eyes glued to the screen. This movie does this all half successfully. On the one hand it does a great job at keeping you interested at all time but on the other the movie still feels like its being filled with missed opportunities and the 'twists' could had all been a bit more surprising and effective.

There is no doubt about it that this is a real well directed movie, that however deserved a bit of a better script to work with.

It of course remains a mystery why David Caruso got ever cast as the main lead in this but luckily its a sort of movie that also spends lots of time with its other characters and their 'stories'. Peter Mullan especially does a great job with his character and also perhaps is the true main character of the movie.

A movie that feels fresh and original within its genre due to its approach, without ever becoming really original or surprising with its story itself.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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