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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Strange - Unusual - Different - Good

6/10
Author: Cat Squire from Glasgow, Scotland, UK
23 September 2005

Not the greatest film I have ever seen but still I found it pretty decent and, in a way, similar to The Shout, which also starred John Hurt. The film moves along quite slowly, but when something happens it really happens. Obviously a low budget film but the acting is generally OK. I bought this DVD because Julian Sands is in it and I thought he pulled off a good performance, as did the legendary John Hurt. Although I thought this film was good I didn't really understand it. It can be quite confusing and I am yet to watch it again so once I watch it again and see if I understand it I'll update my comment here. Current opinion though, decent low budget horror film with a pair of good leading actors.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Interesting

7/10
Author: nick-1677 from United Kingdom
18 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first saw this film in 1985, I didn't understand quite where it was coming from although I enjoyed the mood (the darkness) of the film. I thought I would give it another go so I watched the video last week. At first I was no clearer, "what was that all about" however it is one of those films that gets you thinking and so now I have come to the following conclusion.

Yes Jan did exist (not imagined or an entity), yes Peter did have something to do with his death and yes all 3 of them had the same schizophrenic gene. They were all quite mad. If Laurence is still out there I wouldn't trust him, especially if he's hearing those piano rifts in his head.

I spoke to Julian Sands about this film and asked him what it was all about. Quote "Do you stand before the King - Haven't a clue but what a great time Jan and I had in Zurich"!

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Warning: Spoilers & Questions

10/10
Author: CosmicDeath from United Kingdom
30 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought this film was very interesting. Laurence (Julian Sands) is suffering from schizophrenia; the condition blossomed fully when he witnessed the tragic death of his twin brother, Jan, as a child. After a series of failed attempts to take his own life, Laurence is taken out of hospital by his older brother, Peter (John Hurt), who is determined to take care of him personally, quickly resorting to cutting out both family and work from his life in order to work intensively with Laurence.

As the story unravels it becomes more and more clear that Peter could possibly have contributed to Jan's death. Peter isolates Laurence in an apartment and becomes ever more obsessive of his brother's mental state, pushing to make a connection with Laurence through his illness. Through flashbacks we see Peter and Laurence when they were younger, at the scene of Jan's death. Laurence is seen running over the beach towards his brother Peter, who appears to be staring at something in the sand. When Laurence reaches Peter he sees Jan being consumed by a soft sand pocket and tries to reach out to him, but Peter prevents him, at first glance it seems that this was to save Laurence from the same fate, but as pieces fit together you begin to realise the possibility of latent mental illness in Peter.

As the film develops, characteristics of the illness become more prominent in Peter and his paranoia and spiralling degradation are acknowledged in interactions with Pascale (Victoria Abril). All the while, Pascale has been helping and communicating with Laurence, during which time we see the flashbacks pointing to Peter's instability. Pascale provides release of the intense work that Peter has been putting Laurence through, and shows the potential for growth and freedom in Laurence.

There are some scenes which I feel break my theory of Peter's latent mental illness, such as when Pascale was recording something for Peter. There was documented evidence of an extraordinary exchange related to Laurence and Peter which we later see Pascale play back on her own with the same exchange taking place as clearly. So, is this indicative of supernatural/preternatural influence over the story of Peter, Jan and Laurence? Or an incorporeal entity having power over or influencing the consciousnesses of Laurence and Peter in turn? I am beginning to think it may a bit of both.

All in all, this film is fantastic and I honestly recommend it. It has left me asking questions, and wondering about how people can affect and change each other, not to mention the possibility of sharing and passing anxiety. It has left me wanting to know more, and yet satisfied with the overall story. Excellent :)

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