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Summary: An asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. What should be a straightforward, if rather rushed, job, is complicated by the personal histories of the crew. Things get more complicated as would-be lawyer Mike plays the tapes from a former patient with multiple personalities, including the mysterious Simon who does not appear until Session 9, and as Hank disappears after finding some old coins. (imdb)
It isn't scary (although one claustrophobic scene was surprisingly good compared to the dullness of everything before it) and the characters are boring. This was just an average movie that is watchable but nothing worth thinking about once it's done.
The setting, an abandoned mental hospital, is clearly the star of the show and occupies most of the camera time. The story is minimal, focused on the efforts of an asbestos cleaning crew to go about their work and the ratcheting up of the stress that the environment places on them. No jump scare or gore, just well paced atmospheric foreboding.
Recommended to me as "trippy clever atmospheric psychological horror", something that should be right up my alley, this film was a big disappointment. The script is nothing more than a lukewarm rehash of other genuinely original surreal horror twists, and ultimately infuriating with the way it wastes a perfectly creepy and intriguing setting. Also, I just can't seem to be able to take David Caruso seriously, no matter how hard I try.
There is the dreaded "twist", but I honestly can't even remember what it was. What I DO remember is how adeptly this film methodically built up a real sense of dread, until it became almost unbearable and you are just begging for some kind of release. And, because I'm required to do so, let me praise it's setting and atmosphere (they are quite good, I must say).
A little slow for the first half or so, where it pretty much leaves you asking what the film's actually about. Then it gets pretty good, always a little spooky (those insane asylums always are), also a little confusing, but overall quite alright.
this is a weird movie. it seems to want to be about multiple personality disorder, but most of the plot and dialogue is about the dangers of being an asbestos worker. it's visually pretty nice, but the story is very dull, and seems to think it's smarter than it is.
On top of bland acting, a bland story, a bland score, Brad Anderson has somehow managed to even make run-down Danvers facility seem bland. Props to the him for having the balls to film one of the most predictable and overused plot twists in cinematic history, though.