This was a lesson in not paying too much heed to reviews. Despite a number of negative blurbs I've read ("silly", "predictable", "not credible", "undisciplined") I enjoyed it greatly. It harked me back to those horror films of the 60s and 70s which verged on grand guignol, though not nearly as skilfully realised as this is. Okay, so it's one of those 'leave your brain at the cinema door' films, though if you just go along with the ride I'd put it in the category of being just good, scary f-u-n.
The film's trailer gives away that it's a stalker plot, with Isabelle Huppert refusing to leave Chloe Grace Moretz alone after the latter finds a handbag left on the subway containing the owner's address and returns it to her. (Incidentally, Moretz's presence in the recent 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post' had one serious fault for me with her frequent indecipherable mumblings. I'm pleased to report that that is not the case here). Maika Monroe, as Moretz's close friend and flatmate, is the third member of the almost exclusively female cast, though Stephen Rea. a stalwart of director Neil Jordan's films, has a minor role too.
I should mention also that there's a dishevelled old dog taken from a rescue home in a couple of short scenes. Though he comes to a sorry end there's nothing upsetting to be seen actually on screen.
A couple of things I really liked about the film was that it doesn't waste any time getting down to the heart of the story - and right through there's very little wastage in this comparatively lean film.
There's also one of those cliched sequences when horrific things happen, only for us to find out that it's just within a dream. However, and for a change, here it imaginatively goes one step beyond that.
(I have to say, though, that I could have done with a little less overworking of Liszt's 'Liebestraum No.3').
There are a few grisly scenes which might be considered humorous, and no doubt some will find them so, but it all adds up to solid, enjoyable entertainment.
We haven't seen much of respected veteran director Neil Jordan for quite some time - the last encounter I had with one of his works was 'Breakfast on Pluto' in 2005. I get the feeling that he had as much fun shooting this latest film as I had in watching it.
It's rare when my own rating is substantially higher than the consensus, but this time I'm happy to put my head above the parapet. Definitely one of the better, perhaps even one of the best, films I've seen so far this year................7.5.
(IMDb...........6.2 / Rott. Toms...........5.7 - Note that if I'd paid attention to these I'd not have gone and I would have missed out on a pleasurable experience. )
1 hour ago