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A Mesmerizing Journey into the Dark World of the Subconscious
Young Ansel Faraj certainly knows his stuff -- and it shows in this unique, viscerally engaging film, a masterful blend of hypnotic visual style and writing rich in enough subconscious imagery and archetypes to make even Karl Jung drool. As sole writer, director, and editor, the work is entirely this 21-year-old's own creation, crafted on a shoestring budget on a tiny set located in his aunt's back yard -- a feat made all the more impressive when one considers the sheer expanse and detail present in its visual landscape. It makes you wonder -- if he could accomplish this much with so little, what could he do with major studio backing?
Faraj takes us on a trip into his dark dream world Metropolis, populated by an assortment of classic noir characters slowly driven mad by the seemingly omniscient, all-powerful evil hypnotist Mabuse (excellently portrayed by Jerry Lacy). While some of the character names and references will be recognized by fans of director Fritz Lang's classic serial of the same name, this is truly an original work.
The dialogue, narrative and cinematography all blend effortlessly to make you feel like you, the viewer, are having a dream, and a very scary one at that. Mabuse has mastered the hypnotic arts to such a degree that the entire world is at his disposal. He can control people remotely, assume different forms, and know your next move before you do. So what's to stop the guy who has everything? The possibility that others might unearth your secrets? The film ends with much left to scrutinize, much to look forward to in its sequel, due out next summer.
Fans of the 1960s television series "Dark Shadows" will be delighted by this picture, as it not only assembles most of the surviving cast, it provides a fitting homage through dialogue, music and suspense very characteristic of the original show, so succinctly presented that it could teach even Tim Burton a thing or two!
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