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Karen M. Waldron
Martha, a widow living in rural Pennsylvania, comes home to find her daughter about to blow her own head off with a shotgun in the basement of their house. Martha doesn't succeed in stopping her child's horrific demise, but the girl's death gradually leads the grieving mother to investigate a conspiracy that involves a legendary local witch, Nazi dabbling with the occult, and secret government experiments, with the story even referencing the fabled Philadelphia Experiment.Written by
Maybe if you can figure it out, you'll enjoy it...but probably not even then.
This sounded like a really interesting movie from the blurb. Nazis, occult , government conspiracies. I was expecting a low budget Nazi version of the DaVinci code or the Boys from Brazil or even Shockwaves. Instead you get something quite different, more psychological, more something like from David Lynch. That was actually a plus. But the way the story is told is just awful.
Part of the trouble is the casting. Andrienne Barbeau's character starts off the moving being somewhat timid and afraid. She just doesn't do that well, even at her age, though she certainly tried. The actor cast as the son apparently thought this was a comedy. Most of the other actors also seemed to have thought this was a campy movie, or at least acted like it, rather than simply being quirky. The only one that I thought did really well was the daughter, Siri Baruc.
Another big part is the pacing. It starts off very slowly. So slowly you might be tempted to turn it off. But then it gets compelling for a while when you get to the daughter's suicide and the aftermath. But shortly afterward, it all becomes a jumbled mess. Some of this was on purpose, but much of it was just needlessly confusing, monotonous, and poorly focused.
The real problem, is it's simply not a pleasant movie to watch. It's slow, dull, none of the characters are likable. Overuse of imagery and sets. Some movies you see characters get tortured. In this, it's the viewer that does. It does have a few creepy moments, most notably the creepy Nazi paintings and the credits, but the rest of the movie is mostly just tiresome.
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