The Asylum (2000)
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She enlists the help of her friend William (Nick Waring), and they go investigate the asylum where her father (Patrick Mower) used to work. As soon as they arrive, people start dying.
It is filmed in a real abandoned asylum and has a really creepy feel throughout.
Who killed her mother? We shall never know as the cast of suspects is large and even included a last minute surprise, but that is not what is important.
A good suspenseful film.
The director apparently feels that excessive use of blue filters will lend an ominous air to the location, but it doesn't. To make matters worse, there is a whole slew of other oddballs running around the place (the film never even tries to explain how they all got in past a locked gate and high wall and locked front door), including the murderer. In a different director's hands and with a better script, this low budget turkey might have had some really suspenseful moments. The cast is good, the setting is full of potential, but there isn't a moment of true shock or suspense to be found in this flick, just a lot of weirdness and poorly written dialog. Steffanie Pitt appears to be an able actress, but she is forced to run endlessly around the halls of the asylum and look freaked out.
The end of the film is the real kick in the teeth when the script introduces a "surprise" killer, or is it? That's right, the film leaves you hanging, unsure of whether or not the person who seems to have been responsible for the mother's murder all those years ago, is the same person who has been bumping assorted uninteresting characters off in the present. It's all dreadfully perfunctory, as if the scriptwriter and director just couldn't figure out a decent way to get themselves out of the film and had to settle for the crap ending on display.
For a good scary flick set in an asylum, check out Session 9.
The Asylum's main draw card is of course, its cast. Two Pitts for your money (including Ingrid, chewing up the scenery as usual, but making it work to the film's advantage)Patrick Mower (excellent performance) and the legend that is Robin Askwith. The director, John Stewart, assures us that the cast were picked on merit, rather than reputation. However, a quick look at his influences (The Sorcerers, Witchfinder General) would indicate that it was all too much of a coincidence. Add a former Doctor Who in a lively cameo and what are you waiting for?
If you love the type of film described, and want to have it confirmed that England can still make these films well then I am preaching to the converted. If you aren't then give this a try. I hope you are pleasantly surprised...