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Timothy V. Murphy,
Animator Thomas Kempton gets more than he bargained for when a snowmobile trip turns to terror in the wilds of Northern Michigan. Held prisoner by two cannibalistic sisters who try unsuccessfully to add him to their long list of victims, Tom becomes obsessed with tracking down his captor's long lost daughter. The ensuing drama becomes perfect material for Tom's latest Hollywood screenplay, inevitably luring one cannibal sister back to her original prey. Written by
Tom is a Hollywood animator who heads out on a snow trip with some pals. Where he crashes his snowmobile and seeks refuge from two sisters, who just happen to be cannibals. But before he becomes dinner, his pals find him and rescue from this horror; but the police only find one of the bodies. 3 months later, Tom plans to make an animated feature about his experience and he learns that the police have discovered the body of the missing sister. But this ordeal has hit him so hard that now he's truly obsessed about the sister that he learns that she had a daughter who she gave up. Which she just happens to be an aspiring actress. So through work-related meetings he becomes good friends with her. He gladly finds out she has no idea about her real mother and his horrific incident, although he realises her teenage son has inherited his grandmother's evil frame of mind.
Oh, what torture! Well, some scenes and dialogues were excruciating, but actually, I didn't think the flick was too bad, but again it was far from good. The fundamental problem was that it's overlong and there's just too much on the plate to congest. I found this independent flick an intriguing attempt in the thriller foray and there's some skill behind the camera, but the unbalanced material isn't a particularly successful mix. After what I thought was an okay opening 40-minutes that simply revisits "Misery" with its icy and isolated backdrop and a pair of kooky cannibalistic sisters, it just loses steam. The mid-section is very stodgy - by virtually becoming more of a character study involving the survivor Tom becoming infatuated by this whole ordeal and wanting to make something out of it by getting involved in one 'insane' family. It's one really strange fixation! But during this chewy period I found the story's progression rather colourless and the continuity lacking. So many details that are brought up are left unexplained or simply pushed aside. While, the dry dialogues really do stretch creditability and sometimes ramble on pointlessly. Although, a little of the sardonic humour helps a bit. The over-exaggerated climax isn't remotely surprising, but the constant use of three different endings was just too contrived. Every time I thought it was finished, something else was tacked onto the following scene.
Now the performances would fit right into a soap opera say like "Passions". Pretty scratchy and at times rather hokey was the acting. Alex McArthur gives an understated performance, but Maria Cina as the daughter Clara Hansen is surprisingly good. Fred Meyers as the teenage brat Sandor Hansen is simply laughable with his angst and blimey; he has one real nasty habit. Angelo Badalamenti's score is extremely harrowing by playing around with many sequences and it gives the film a touch of elegance. The direction by John D. Hancock I could give the cold shoulder, but I thought he done an adequate job with what he had to work with. He staged one or two suspenseful and minor grisly scenes, despite most of it be telegraphed. But more often you could say I found it hard going and terribly cliché-ridden to be entirely effective entertainment.
"Suspended Animation" takes on a systematic pattern that has a decent looking production, but the material is pretty much a scramble and saps most of the suspense right out of it.
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