Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.
Robert De Niro
After escaping an abusive husband Anna and her 8 year old son move to a secret location in a giant apartment building. Terrified that her ex-husband will find them she buys a baby monitor to keep in her son's room at all times. But strange noises echo in the baby monitor from elsewhere in the building. As she witnesses the sounds of what she believes is another child being murdered she fears it is her own. Reliving the nightmare she recently escaped Anna will need to figure out what's real and what isn't before she loses her sanity and her child. Written by
Elizabeth Obermeier, Marketing Manager
Promising plot, and actors perform very well. But only halfway successful as a thriller, due to some clues that seem forgotten, hampering our viewing experience
I saw this film as part of the Imagine film festival (SF/fantasy/horror) Amsterdam 2012. The festival website labeled it as "horror", but I rather concur with the mixed "horror/thriller" label we see on IMDb. We cannot help feeling sympathy with the mother (Anna) and her son (Anders), just having moved to a hiding place where her husband resp. his father cannot find them. We are told this is because of prior domestic violence towards the son. It is the main reason for buying and installing a baby monitor in the son's bedroom. Since he is 11, he would not need such supervision in normal circumstances.
Apart from that, we see what initially looks like a sub-plot, in the form of a flirtation with the salesman (Helge) in the home electronics shop where the baby monitor is bought. The relationship strengthens later on when Anna hears alarming sounds out of the newly installed device, and seeks his advice as it is not coming from Anders' room. Helge explains that the signal can be picked up from a similar device in the neighborhood. Given that Helge is the only one taking her story seriously, and Anna feels all alone with her situation, it can be no surprise that she asks for his help. And Helge, also feeling alone, is very eager to offer some assistance.
Anna stumbles on a nearby lake, where she observes disturbing things happening on the opposite side. What she sees, obviously reminds her of her own reasons to run away from her husband. After rushing through the woods to find the place where it happened, there are no visible traces of something out of the ordinary. On later occasions Anna completely fails to find the lake again, as if it never existed in the first place. We are as confused as Anna is, since several landmarks we saw before along the path to the lake, are still on their original spot and look undisturbed.
All in all, though a few scenes could be improved by shortening some parts, I saw an entertaining mix of what was real and what only existed in Anna's mind. After a while we think we are sure what's real and what's not, given what is presented to us by the scenario writers. Acting is very good, so we are easily convinced by what we see.
However, one of the final scenes shows aforementioned lake again, after we saw with our own eyes that Anna could not find it anymore. It unexpectedly confronts us with a completely different view on the matter (no details, to prevent spoilers). In hindsight, I could remember no pointers that we may have been misled by what we had seen on screen. In other words, this was really a surprise for me, but of course, I may have missed some clues. Yet I think this should not happen in a "thriller" type of film. Some cleverly planted clues with hints that there might be more to it than what we saw, certainly would have improved our viewer experience.
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