Asylum (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Thriller  |  9 September 2005 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 4,015 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 52 user | 81 critic | 29 from

A woman becomes very curious about one of her psychiatrist husband's inmates, a man who was found guilty in the murder and disfigurement of his former wife.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gus Lewis ...
Bridie Straffen
Sarah Thurstan ...
Alwyne Taylor ...
Hazel Douglas ...
Anna Keaveney ...
Mrs. Bain
Edgar Stark
Robert Willox ...
John Archer
Brenda Raphael


In the 50's, the psychiatrist Max Raphael is hired to work as superintendent of an asylum in the outskirts of London, and he moves with his wife Stella Raphael and their son Charlie. Stella has a passionless marriage and is ignored by Max; her boredom changes when her son befriends the handsome inmate Edgar Stark, an sculptor that in a crisis of jealousy had killed and disfigured his wife, and that is treated by Dr. Peter Cleave, an ambitious psychiatrist that aspired Max's position. During the afternoons, Stella has a hot adulterous affair with Edgar until the day he escapes and their affair is discovered. Stella has to take a decision between her family and her wild passion for Edgar. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passion. Possession. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, some violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 September 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Casa da Loucura  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$36,272 (USA) (12 August 2005)


$374,903 (USA) (11 November 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both Marton Csokas and Ian McKellan have appeared in 'The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring' and The 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King'. See more »


Max Raphael: I want you to understand what's going to happen next. The shock will wear off, and it will be replaced by a devastating grief. In time, you will come to terms with what you have done and you'll just be very, very sad. And that sadness will stay with you for the rest of your life.
See more »


References Vertigo (1958) See more »


Ten Green Bottles
Performed by Kidzone
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User Reviews

Compelling adaptation of Mcgrath novel
14 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

This flawed but compelling adaptation of Patrick Mcgrath's novel spins out a sterile world of which Stella Raphael(Natasha Richardson) is never a part. Enter Edgar Stark(Marton Csokas), sculptor, carpenter and inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. Thus begins a sexual obsession that spins out of control and leaves no one untouched by its uncontrollable ferocity.

The brilliance of this film is Marton Csokas' Edger, who never lets Stella nor the audience forget his profound influence even when he is out of the scene. He paints the portrait of a darkly obsessed genius, ranging from intensely passionate to violently out of control on the turn of a moment. Pulling the viewer into his dance with the haunted Stella and the driven Dr. Peter Cleave, meticulously portrayed by the ever diverse Sir Ian McKellan, he robs us of our will to be horrified by his actions - no mean feat, and beckons the viewer to follow him too.

The one flaw in this otherwise darkly intense film is Ms. Richardson's Stella. Though she tries valiantly to create the portrait of a woman lost in the morass of doubt and fragility - a woman who would choose to stay with her abusive lover - Ms. Richardson's innate strength shines through. The viewer is led to wonder why she stays when she is clearly stronger emotionally than her dynamic partner. But stay she does until chance takes her back to her husband and son.

Scenes of violence and sexuality make Asylum a film not for everyone. The R rating is not to be taken lightly, but it is a do not miss for anyone interested in a powerfully intense film that plumbs the depths of the human psyche and establishes Mr. Csokas as a major film talent well on his way.

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