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|Index||43 reviews in total|
I was lucky enough to see this movie at its premier at the Tribeca Film Festival, and I must say that I truly enjoyed it. Normally, I am not a huge fan of the horror film genre, but this film proved that it was much more than a "put 10 people in a house, and kill them off one-by-one" flick. I found the story line interesting, the cinematography on-point, and the acting, especially that of Elizabeth Rice, excellent. Contrary to the previous person's review, I found the cast to be quite likable, and I also appreciated the occasional shots of humor, particularly those from the visiting female cousin. One final facet of the movie that I thought was compelling was the musical score -- very effective in contributing to the mood. IMHO, From Within is definitely worth seeing, and it should do very well when it is released for general viewing.
Imagine if the award-winning cinematographer of the 2007 epic "3:10 to
Yuma" decided to direct his own film. With over 40 titles under his
belt, Phedon Papamichael is one of the industry's icons. Well, imagine
no more. In the Brad Keene-penned "From Within," which had its World
Premiere here at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, Papamichael takes his
considerable expertise behind the camera and crafts an auspicious
directorial debut in the Hitchcock tradition.
Something is amiss in Grovetown. The suicide in the opening scene triggers a mystery which will bring teenagers Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice) and Aiden (Thomas Dekker) together in a quest for the truth, both about the occurrences as well as themselves.
The performances of Thomas Dekker ("Heroes," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") and Elizabeth Rice ("Mad Men") are at the heart of the movie and it's their believability which makes this film so emotional and poignant. Dekker's frightening gaze and enigmatic demeanor never lets up, in perfect contrast to Rice's innocence and vulnerability. Veteran Adam Goldberg (Roy), Rumer Willis (Natalie), and Kelly Blatz (Dylan) are also standouts.
"From Within" is technically brilliant. The use of single-point lighting and color palette of blues and grays in interior scenes are especially effective in enhancing the shadowy nature of the story, with sunset shots that would likely have been scuttled in a typical Hollywood movie. Here, the dim light works to the film's advantage. The sound effects, along with the Jason Cooper and Oliver Kraus score, also play a particularly distinct role here and are a major plus. As in any film of this genre, visual effects are key and they are top-notch. Most of all, though, the camera-work is simply breathtaking. Shot in widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the chilling locations and copious use of POV shots enhance the Hitchcockian feel of "From Within" -- no surprise given the director's background.
Although the film's first act leans toward horror, it soon becomes apparent that "From Within" is a story-driven psychological thriller more than anything and doesn't need to rely on blood and gore, although there's enough to please fans of the genre. The film's many twists and turns will hold audiences' interest right up to the closing credits. A creepy tale with a strong message about religious extremism and tolerance make "From Within" more than just another gorefest. From Within is a solid thriller with enough suspense to keep the viewer guessing until the end.
Although this type of film has been done many times before there is
always room for good writing, acting, camera work and directing. Hey,
if one is going to enjoy a modest budget horror flick one must get past
the fact the takes-place-in-a-town-with-weird-residents plus the
supernatural-aspects-to-be-taken-for-granted are simply ingrained in
the process. This setting and genre must either be accepted and enjoyed
or ignored altogether.
That said, the acting is FROM WITHIN is exceptional. The teens (and they actually look like teenagers instead of dressed up 30-year-olds) are neither sullen nor over the top but anxious, indecisive, vulnerable; i.e., like real teenagers. Miss Rice in particular delivers her lines in convincing fashion. The two young male leads could easily slide into stereotypes but...well...don't. The adults, e.g., the sheriff and the preacher, aren't overbearing elders. All the adults, in fact, actually interact with the teens, whereas in many movies like this one there is the teen world (Read: real and emotional) and the adult world (Read: static and authoritative).
The supernatural aspect, while never believable, is thankfully modest in inception and use. If the final scenes are not edge-of-your-seat they hold your interest as to what's going to happen. Cool "twist" at the very end too. What's a 56-year-old movie snob watching something like this for? Hey, I'm entitled to some fun too. Most things like this are lucky to last 20 minutes on my screen. FROM WITHIN went the full micro-wave popcorn ninety minutes.
I often come across people who prefer horror films that happen to have
a good story. I, on the other hand, prefer films with a good story that
just so happen to be scary. "From Within" is one of the latter. After
having watched it, I'm surprised I had never heard of it before. It has
a sense of overall quality unique to its class (relatively unknown,
made for a Horrorfest).
The story is the movie's strongest point, with a plot that throws in appropriate twists without wavering from its core. From beginning to end, it is emotionally engaging and suspenseful. The character development exceeded my expectations as well, along with the performances from the cast. There is violence, but the film never drowns itself in gore. Most of the actual deaths happen just off-screen, giving you just enough build-up to use your imagination.
Supernatural horror/thrillers are a dime a dozen, and many of them fall short of expectations. "From Within" stands out among the crowd proving that given a well-executed plot and the right casting, films of this genre can be as powerful as ever.
I can't help but believe that some people who rated this movie down,
did it for their religious views. Thomas Dekker and the rest of the
cast does a great job. Compared to the other review I read here, I have
nothing bad to say about the actors. Sure, there are some stereotypes,
but they all play them perfectly. Adam Goldberg, which I usually tend
to dislike, does a terrific role as a redneck witch-hunter.
The movie starts off with a slow, atmospheric scene. Then with a loud bang, begins the nerve wrecking collection of a fairly large body-pile. I do enjoy these kinds of movies, who are not afraid of stepping on anyone's toes. They are the movies that expand our horizons, and allow others to stretch the boundaries even further. This is one such movie. And I do hope it will inspire others in the future.
If you are looking for a movie that involves long protracted scenes of
torture or evisceration like Saw, Hostel or Captivity, this is not the
movie for you. If like me you like classic psychological horror then
you will love this movie.
The scares are pretty good and they come at regular enough intervals to keep you engaged while the story and the characters are really compelling. It has a really strong visual style, and like 'The Ring' there's an impending sense of doom that hangs over every scene, giving it a really awesome feeling of discomfort although I bet it was made at a fraction of the budget..
The plot is great, the story grabs you from the very beginning with an incredible opening scene which features a surprisingly strong performance from Rumer Willis (beware the haters). In fact it's overall really well acted. Thomas Dekker is well Thomas Dekker and fans of Sarah Connor will not be disappointed, Adam Goldberg is genius and Elizabeth Rice is perfect as the main character Lindsay.
I saw it in a packed house at TriBeca and the audience reaction was pretty much phenomenal. I definitely recommend seeing it when it goes on general release. 8/10
In Grovetown, there is a series of suicides after the suicide of an
outcast teenager Sean (Shiloh Fernandez). His brother Aidan (Thomas
Dekker) waits for the return of his cousin Sadie (Margo Harshman) to
the family house for the funeral. When Dylan (Kelly Blatz), who is the
fanatic Christian son of the reverend, beats up on Aidan, the
undesirable youngster is helped by Dylan's girlfriend Lindsey
(Elizabeth Rice) that drives him home. They talk about Dylan's mother
Candace Spindle that had a grimoire to worship her pagan gods in a
creek and was blamed by the god-fearing locals of murdering a man; then
she died in a suspicious fire. Lindsey and Aidan befriend each other
and sooner she finds that Sean has cursed the town with his own
sacrifice unleashing an evil force that is leading the inhabitants to
commit suicide. When Lindsey is chased by her evil image, Aidan decides
to help her to stop the curse; but the price to be paid is high.
Last week I bought "From Within" on DVD without any reference, and I had low expectations with this movie. Fortunately I was wrong and I was surprised with this great horror movie. In this original story, the Christians are evil with their fanaticism, self-proclaiming "soldiers of the Lord" and capable of dreadful murders in the name of God. Further, the conclusion with no redemption is unusual in American movies that prefer commercial endings instead. The sweet and gorgeous Elizabeth Rice has an amazing performance and shows a perfect chemistry with Thomas Dekker. The unknown director Phedon Papamichael shows a promising debut, supported by a good screenplay and a cast with great potential. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
This movie is really scary. Better than anything I've seen in ages. It
had me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Unlike other
movies, the people in it feel real rather than cheesy Hollywood cut
outs which made it even more frightening.
The acting is great. I think Thomas Dekker is super talented. He was great in the Terminator TV show and in "From Within" he's even better. I think the fact that he's being given a starring role means he's on his way to being a movie star. I also recognized Kelly Blatz from Prom Night and he was much better in this.
It's got a great story, it's full of tricks and turns from the opening scene. I've been so scared since I saw it, I've been afraid to look in the mirror (you'll know what I mean when you see it!).
I was expecting a mediocre film when I starting watching this movie
because of the lack of actors I recognized plus watching it on cable
(IFC), but I was pleasantly surprised on how creepy and well done it
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't nearly as good as The Ring, but still made me more than a little freaked out at several points.
You do need to pay close attention to the film to understand it - especially the end. The plot was decent and the story flowed pretty well.
I would recommend this horror flick to scary movie fans. I would say there was a noticeable lack of gore, but not in a bad way. If you are wanting a slasher flick, this is not the movie for you.
I'm a huge horror movie lover, but I'm often let down by American horror films...esp the cheesy repackages of fabulous Asian horror titles. This atmospherically chilling thriller definitely did not disappoint. The scenery alone is well worth watching, but I found the moral quagmire of a storyline unique as well. Acting is waaay above the standard for this type of film. I really dug the female lead, and Thomas Dekker is utterly delicious, just teeming with sexy, dark sensitivity in this somewhat subtle and understated role. Overall, a very enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. Not a slice and dice teenage T&A flick, so this one is probably OK for those of you not too into gore or gratuitous topless chase scenes. I've enjoyed many of the After Dark "8 Movies to Die For" Horrorfest titles, but I think this one may be my favorite to date.
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