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In New York, Janice Templeton is happily married to executive Bill Templeton and they live in a comfortable and fancy apartment with their eleven-year-old daughter Ivy. One day, Janice is stalked by a weirdo and she tells her husband. Soon afterwards the stranger contacts them and invites the couple to meet him in a restaurant. Elliot Hoover tells Janice and Bill that his daughter Audrey Rose died eleven years ago, burned in a car crash, and her soul has been reincarnated in Ivy's body. Bill and Janice believe that Elliot is nuts, and Bill tells his lawyer to get a restraining order against Elliot. However, Ivy has dreadful nightmares and only Elliot is able to calm her down. When Elliot abducts Ivy, Bill and Janice go to court to have him arrested. But Elliot wants to prove that Ivy and Audrey Rose are the same soul. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Audrey Rose" is a strange little tale of reincarnation. The story centers around a Janice (Marsha Mason) and Bill (John Beck) Templeton, a New York city couple who have a wonderful daughter named Ivy. Their lives are fairly normal, that is until a stranger (Anthony Hopkins) begins to stalk Ivy, claiming that within her body is the reincarnated spirit of his daughter, Audrey Rose, who burned to death in a horrible car accident. Of course, the Templetons think this stranger, named Elliot, is a madman. But when Ivy begins having horrible nightmares, running through her room, and banging on her bedroom window with her fists, they begin to wonder if Elliot's claims may just be true...
From the director of the horror classic, "The Haunting", Robert Wise, comes this bizarre but spooky little tale of reincarnation. The story is based on Frank DeFelitta's novel of the same name, and the plot is interesting. Reincarnation was a topic that hadn't really been addressed at the time, but while this film is constructed all around the basic idea of reincarnation, many people have mistaken it for some sort of "Exorcist" rip-off, mainly because of the fact that it displays horrible events plaguing a young girl. It's an intelligent premise and a well-written plot, but the problem with the film is that it is quite plodding and almost too slow for it's own good.
Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with slow-going stories, but I think most people can agree that the pacing here is a little tedious at times. On the plus side, there are some genuinely frightening hysteria sequences involving the young Ivy, along with the awful car crash death in the beginning that is the basis of the film. As far as the acting goes, it was all good - some of the hysteria scenes were obviously overacted, but aside from that it wasn't bad. Marsha Mason conveys a very emotional, frantic mother, while John Beck isn't given much to work with. The brilliant Anthony Hopkins plays Elliot (in one of his earlier roles, before "The Silence Of The Lambs" fame that he earned later in his career) quite well, which isn't surprising because he's always good. And Susan Swift (who much later appeared in a "Halloween" sequel), plays the tormented Ivy. I'm surprised we didn't see more of her as an actress, she seems to have had the potential.
To sum things up, "Audrey Rose" is a decent horror movie. The storyline is excellent, but unfortunately the pacing here breaks a lot of tension. On the plus side, there are some frightening scenes and a few memorable sequences, plus the story is intelligent and original. While it's a decent horror movie, it's not the kind of movie you can sit down and watch if you're in a tired mood, because it will likely bore you. Go into it with an open mind, but don't expect anything in terms of "The Haunting" or Wise's other films. 6/10.
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