57 user 39 critic

The Ugly (1997)

A female psychologist wants to understand the minds of a confessed serial killer who spent the last five years in a mental hospital because of his state.


Scott Reynolds


Scott Reynolds
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Paolo Rotondo ... Simon Cartwright
Paul Glover Paul Glover ... Phillip
Chris Graham ... Robert
Darien Takle ... Marge
Rebecca Hobbs ... Dr. Karen Schumaker
Roy Ward Roy Ward ... Dr. Marlowe
Cath McWhirter Cath McWhirter ... Helen Ann Millar
Carolyn Beaver Carolyn Beaver ... Helen's friend
Caelem Pope Caelem Pope ... Simon, aged 4
Jennifer Ward-Lealand ... Evelyn Cartwright
Finn Johnsen Finn Johnsen ... Future cop
Phillip Brown Phillip Brown ... Future cop
Tau Luke Tau Luke ... Future cop
Tim Barlow ... Police photographer
Sam Wallace Sam Wallace ... Simon, aged 13


Simon is a confessed serial killer who spent the last five years in a mental hospital because of his state. Dr.Karen Shoemaker wants to get through to him and starts visiting him in the hospital, and his previous life comes to us in flashbacks. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Murder is in the eye of the beholder. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for gruesome gory murders, language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Scott Reynolds changes things up by making all of the blood in the movie a dark, black color. Author John Kenneth Muir writes in his book, Horror Films of the 1990s, about how this visual cue may suggest that Simon never saw his victims as being human, making it easier for him to kill. See more »


Simon Cartwright: Haven't you been listening?
Dr. Karen Shoemaker: Refresh my memory.
Simon Cartwright: People pick on me.
Dr. Karen Shoemaker: People pick on me. I don't slice them ear to ear.
Simon Cartwright: Maybe you should.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Available in both R and unrated versions. See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'Stickmen' (2001) See more »


Written by Natasha Reid, Mike Carden
Performed by Crash
See more »

User Reviews

A dark dream of a movie
27 January 2000 | by cchaseSee all my reviews

Sort of what you'd get if you took SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and cross-bred it with Neil Jordan's IN DREAMS. Going for a Lynchian feel, director Reynolds owes more to the spookily dreamlike imagery evoked by the writings of Ramsey Campbell. Images make you queasy, disturb and profoundly frighten you, yet you can't seem to quite tear yourself away from them, as if you're having a nightmare with your eyes wide open.

As singled out in other reviews here, Paolo Rotundo manages to temper the character of Simon with a sense of humanity, something you'd never dream of associating with a serial killer. This hearkens back to earlier little diamonds-in-the-rough from Down Under, like Richard Franklin's ROAD GAMES, David Blyth's DEATH WARMED UP or the more fantasy-oriented films of Peter Weir like THE LAST WAVE or PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK.

Like SE7EN before it, it disturbs and disorients you on some pretty deep levels, then gut-punches you with a shockingly unexpected ending, which may not make it something you want to see over and over again. But for fans of this particular genre, it's definitely worth a look.

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New Zealand



Release Date:

1 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ugly See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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