13 May 2010

Tell-Tale 2009 - REVIEW

In Edgar Allan Poe's classic "The Tell-Tale Heart" a murderer's guilt causes him to hear the pounding of his victim's heart and soon drives him mad. In this adaptation, it's the heart itself that drives the story.

Terry, (Josh Lucas) is your average really nice guy except the fact that his adult life has been stricken with one hardship after another. His wife left him with a daughter, Angela (Beatrice Miller), who has a rare genetic disorder that turns tendons and muscle into bone, leaving her disfigured and without full use of her arms. As if that's not enough, he's plagued with heart problems. Add it all up and you've got yourself the perfect makings for a Lifetime movie. At least that's what I was thinking anyway.

Fortunately, director Michael Cuesta does a terrific job of not fixating on these misfortunes but rather easing us into them and weaving them into the story so subtly that you are never focused on just that aspect of the film. Yes, you recognize that this is a family who's been knocked down time after time but they always seem to recover and carry on nicely.

However, the moment he's given a new lease on life, Terry begins to have horrific visions. It doesn't take him long to figure out that these flashes of his "past life" only occur when he gets within a few feet of certain people. But now, it's not just flashes of visions, it's flashes of hatred that propel him forward with an anger that only revenge can get rid of.

Brian Cox does a great job as the disgruntled detective, Phillip Van Doren, and even adds a bit of subtle comedy to each scene he's in. In fact, part of what makes this film worth watching is it's likable cast. Even the bad guys are good. BUT, for reasons I won't tell, we don't see much of them. Lena Headey isn't given too much to do as Dr. Elizabeth Clemson but definitely commands the screen when she's on it. David Callaham delivers an amazing script that even Poe would be proud to have his name attached to and the back drop of beautiful Providence, Rhode Island give it that like extra UMPH.

Without giving too much away, let me just say that not since the bus took out that blonde chick in the original Final Destination has my jaw hit the floor like it did with this one. I was even rewinding to make sure that what I thought happened HAD actually happened. It's filled with surprise after surprise that leaves you on the edge of your seat. And just when you think it's over, they throw such an unexpected curve ball you'll be saying "HOLY SHIT! WTF just happened?"

Once again, I'm not sure it should be classified as a "horror" but it's definitely full of suspense and a thrill a minute. I would recommend this movie to anyone, even non-horror lovers.

No comments:

Post a Comment