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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Huge Buffy/Angel fan and watched this on the Horror Channel (wow,
actual horror on the Horror Channel, rare these days) largely because
Charisma Carpenter is in it (just as I only watch Gossip Girl when
Michelle Tractenberg is on as Georgina). Not the best film in the world
but glad I watched it. I actually met Charisma at a convention a few
years back (just as beautiful and charming in real life) and seeing her
hairstyle in this I realise now she was in the UK filming this at the
time and had just taken the weekend off to earn herself an easy $20,000
signing 2000 autographs (including my copy of Playboy with her posing
The Good; really did remind me of Hammer House of Horror and a lot of the old horror anthologies you used to get. I later learned that I was spot on, this is a remake of a segment of the 1983 horror anthology 'Screamtime'. It's shocks are very good, the violence suitably nasty and a good performance from Charisma, similar to her scenes in the Angel ep 'To Shanshu in LA' where she's losing her mind. They throw a lot of sex into the mix too, not only with the cheating husband and his scantily clad bimbos but the scene where Charisma gets drug raped by his henchman (or does she? The way she grabs his hand during their sex makes you wonder if she's actually surrendered to her dark desires and become a willing participant in her own ravishment?).
The twist in the tail is a kicker, very clever and probably what attracted everyone to a remake in the first place. I had to rewatch it a couple of times before I realised that she's being tortured not by visions of what HAS taken place as everyone thought but by premonitions of what's GOING to take place. Good news for her as it means she'll no longer be driven crazy by it once it's happened and can get out of the asylum to enjoy spending her royalties, bad news for her cheating rat husband and the poor folks who moved into their house.
The Bad; The cheapness of the production shows through in many scenes. Will we ever have an American film set in the UK where they don't drive past famous landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament? (Interesting in 'Screamtime' the sub-stories were all set in Britain but framed by a overall story set in New York to give it transatlantic appeal). Some of the acting by the supporting cast is pretty rubbish, I'm not sure what Justin Hawkins of the band The Darkness was doing in this, he's not David Bowie. It's pretty obvious from the start that the husband is trying to 'Gaslight' Charisma, he may as well have 'villain' stamped on his forehead.
So all told, enjoyable film and I'm glad I watched it. 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A serial killer unleashes his blood lust at a remote
environmental-camp. Years later a horror novelist relocates to rural
England and is plagued to the point of madness by horrific haunting of
So I finally got around to watching Charisma Carpenter in "Psychosis". At first as it started out I thought maybe I had the wrong movie because it looked like a tradition psycho slasher flick however I was pleasantly surprised. After the story took off, the way that the film kept me constantly focused on the deceit of her husband, and constantly trying to figure out just what the film was about, it totally threw me for a loop with the ending. Brilliant execution of the story. This was not an easy script to keep cohesive and relatable. At any point the film could have fell apart with all the subtext and micro plots that seemed to flutter about in the telling of this story.
For the most part I felt I was watching a psychological thriller just a bit above Lifetime Movie abilities and constantly wondering what the beginning had to do with f*ckall in this movie. It kept me guessing and confused visually as to the characters that played out in the Macbeth styled dance of twisted tales of betrayal and deception. The cinematography was gritty and yet polished with its total control of the film by jumping from micro plot to micro plot. Is she crazy? Is she psychic? or is some people totally f*cking with her?! I just kept bouncing back. This turned out to be a really great film and you don't realize just how intricate and detailed the plot is until the last 15 minutes of the film and that is got me totally into the story and made me drop my jaw. The ending tied it all up so poignantly and perfectly. A great psychological profile of the depths of human psychosis.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Psychosis is set in England & starts as some Eco warrior protesters
set-up a campsite in the middle of the countryside just outside London
where a new motorway is going to be built, that night they are all
brutally killed by some local man who goes mad. Jump forward over a
decade & one of the best selling crime novelists in the world Susan
Golden (Charisma Carpenter) & her corporate events organiser husband
David (Paul Sculfor) move into a large country mansion near the fields
where the murders took place, Susan has writer's block after suffering
a nervous breakdown & is feeling the pressure to finish her latest book
& feels the move away from California might be beneficial. Susan starts
to experience terrifying visions, violent hallucinations, disturbing
dreams along with strange unnatural events & believes that her new
house may be haunted. Is Susan's new home haunted? Is she having
another breakdown? Are there perfectly reasonable explanations for what
is happening? Or is there something much more sinister going on...
This British production was written & directed by Reg Traviss & is a feature length remake of the Dreamhouse segment from the British horror anthology film Screamtime (1986) which I have not seen so I cannot compare the two but I have to say that I was reasonably impressed by Psychosis & didn't think it was that bad at all, it's hardly any sort of masterpiece but I felt it had enough going for it to make the 90 minutes I spent watching it worthwhile. The script has me in two minds, while I liked the basic premise & I thought the final twist was particularly good & fairly unexpected it's far from perfect with the chief complaint being that it's so slow & it takes a very long time to get where it's going. The final twist does turn traditional expectation & cliché on it's head quite effectively & at the very least I was interested in where the film was going, there's a supernatural element, a hint of psychological thriller, some straight horror & even a bit of a criminal subplot which all come together reasonably well. Unfortunately I found the two main character's poorly drawn & I was never convinced at any time that they were a loving married couple, Susan is by far the more interesting & developed character of the two. I am not sure what the creepy Peck guy is all about & the scene when he first meets his new boss Susan & flashes his cock at her comes out of nowhere & is quite unsettling!
Set mainly in rural England this looks nice enough with an impressive looking stately home & some attractive scenery. There's some nudity & sex including the aforementioned cock flashing & a strange scene set in a swingers party where a man is seen lying under a clear glass table looking up & then a naked woman sit down on the table which presumably gives the guy a nice view! There are a few flashes of gore but they are few & far between, the opening sequence features several hippies with names like Snake getting killed including an axe to the head & the climax features a gory slit throat. Originally had the working title Vivid which was apparently changed because Vivid was also the name of a porn company & brought about unwanted connections & associations.
With a supposed budget of about $1,200,000 this had a modest budget but nowhere near as low as some films that are being made & getting a wide release, the production values are good & Psychosis is well made. By some strange coincidence Psychosis is actually the second Charisma Carpenter film I have seen in the past couple of days after I saw House of Bones (2011), not that I am a fan or anything but Carpenter is quite cute & doesn't look like she's approaching forty. By the way, Psychosis is far better than House of Bones & Carpenter puts in a much better performance but then there's far more to work with here than she had with the basic House of Bones which only really needed her to turn up on set & not much else.
Psychosis is not a film for everyone, the slow pace & an ending that (judging by the IMDb message board for Psychosis) not everyone seems to understand although I thought it was perfectly simple & made sense within the context of the film up to that point. It comes down to personal opinion I suppose & mine is that I quite liked Psychosis although I doubt I would ever want to see it again.
Reg Traviss and fellow screen writer Micahel Carpenter have crafted a supremely frightening script and the cinema results are extraordinary. Directed as well by Traviss with flair and originality, he creates an atmosphere of almost surrealistic suspense and a unholy, dark environment of overwhelming dread. Charisma Carpenter gives a superb performance in the role of the young woman haunted by visions of what she believes to be remnants of violent episodes that have taken place in the house where she lives. There is incredibly disturbing imagery and horrific scares as she strives to discover the answers to all the terrifying mysteries. No one who sees this superior horror film will ever forget the unendurable suspense, stunning visions, and lightning like intensity that is Psychosis.
I'm a massive fan of this movie, it's a perfectly executed re-imagining of 1983's Scream Time. Charisma Carpenter is a great choice for the lead role of 'Susan' and she successfully pulls off a difficult character arch that sees her transform from a settled, confident woman into a truly tortured soul. Ricci Harnett is also great as the rather creepy groundsman 'Peck' and Paul Sculfor is a very clever choice for Susan's husband - adding a level of credibility and logic to the film that I won't spoil with this review. If like me, you like your horror to be full of suspense, thrills, sex and deception - you should watch this movie.
I didn't find this movie as slow-moving as most, but it WAS as
pointless as they've written. At first the ending was marginally
surprising until I thought about it for five seconds. The only reason
it was surprising is because of the misdirection of the movie's first
10 minutes. Remove that and the lease ingenuous viewer will know what
the deal is after about 30 minutes.
Very linear and predictable with extra characters that really do nothing to advance or even influence the story. It really could have been told with about five characters.
Very little was done to explain why the lead sees what she sees other than a few vague words from a medium, but even at that there is no explanation as to why she sees things now, but apparently never did the first 35 (or so) years of her life.
Still, it's decent enough for ambient viewing while loading a dishwasher or doing some paperwork. You've seen it enough times to not have to pay rapt attention, but it's not some obviously cheap, horribly acted flick that shoots entirely in day-for-night blue.
'Psychosis' is an example of a movie that I'm sure read brilliantly on
page. The story is there, old English house, horror writer retreat;
descent into madness, at times it reminded me of the Demi Moore film
'Half Light' although that's an example of how it should be done. The
setting of 'Psychosis' is spot on creating a country atmosphere similar
to 'Watcher in the woods'. However hampered by wooden acting (save for
its two leads) and stilted dialogue, it's hard to warm to the
characters or become engaged in the story.
Charisma Carpenter and Paul Sculfor are both easy to watch and had they been given a slightly bigger budget, tweaked dialogue and better surrounding actors then this could have been a winner. There is some chilling vision in the film (notably the tent scene at the start with the man licking the feet, cryptic I know but I don't want to spoil anything) but that vision seems to fade into clichés very quickly. There is a twist, it's a small one but unique and again showed potential for something better.
I watched this because I am a Charisma Carpenter fan so to other fans out there I will say its better than Scyfy's awful 'House of Bones', so if it comes down to the two watch this one.
After moving to a new house in the country, a writer begins to believe
the strange visions and hallucinations around the house are all in her
head and meant to drive her crazy, but she discovers a history of death
and mayhem in the area that may prove to be the actual culprit.
This is an admittedly decent film in concept, yet this one here just doesn't really do enough to really differentiate itself from the hordes of similarly-themed films and in the end comes across merely as decent. The fact that this one tends to just meander on about different ideas and topics that aren't in the slightest bit scary, from the constant scenes of the young boy playing soccer to the freak-outs over the gardener and the endless scenes of her breaking down crying and needing to be comforted, it just grows old and never once creates an atmosphere or aura of creepiness, which is somewhat of a let-down considering the fact that nothing much happens. Without many kills for gore-gags and a pretty lagging pace until the finale when the real ploy is revealed and the scares get somewhat more intense, not a whole lot to like here unless this sort of thing fits you.
Rated R: Graphic Language, Violence, Full Nudity and sex scenes.
Just terrible. Bad acting, bad script, pacing was 100% predictable and there was not one cliché left uncopied. The only press this is going to get is from extraneous, irrelevant tabloid schlock. Once the film is seen by more than just the makers of the movie, its going straight to the bargin bin. There were a few redeeming special effects but tossed in but with the nonsensical storyline, it hardly saves the movie. To add a twist convincingly, you have to make us care about the protagonist, there was no one in this movie that didn't look like they just walked out of a spray tan booth and teeth whitening salon. Just aged actors who seem to think by flashing a smile and looking pretty, they can compensate for their plastic personas. Did not enjoy this one bit sad to say. Funny that almost all of the 20 something votes for this film are 10/10, wonder where that came from? I would suggest avoiding.
Just saw this a couple of days ago, and am still wondering why this was
made. First off the plot for this film could barely of filled a 10
minute short, and yet was stretched to fill the duration of this so
called feature. All the layers that the director mentioned he added in
the making of made no sense, didn't go anywhere and added nothing to
the film. Acting was beyond poor, especially by a certain lead man.
Lighting seemed flat. On the upside, some of the special effects seemed
pretty well done (a fake head in particular) but are not enough to save
The only interesting thing on the DVD was the making of, and interview with the cast. Maybe they should have got that guy to direct instead.
Watch at your own risk.
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