Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: 6 Souls

Psychology-themed horror tale goes a little nutty in the end.

April 10, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1375568-6_Souls_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A psychiatrist hoping to debunk an alleged case of multiple-personality disorder is eventually failed by science in 6 Souls, a thriller that takes its time revealing just how heavily invested it is in the supernatural. An appealing cast and well-executed mood of foreboding would seem to hold some promise commercially, but the script grows silly in the third act, letting the picture down in ways that explain the marginal release Radius-TWC is giving it domestically.

Julianne Moore plays Cara Harding, a mental-health professional constantly at odds with her father (Jeffrey DeMunn), also a shrink, over the legitimacy of multiple-personality diagnoses. In the background, the two also fight over religious faith, which Cara clings to despite having lost her husband to a senseless killing.

Dad's latest test case is a doozy: Adam (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a tough-talking man with severe color blindness who sometimes transforms into gentle David, a normally sighted paraplegic so physically altered from his host that their X-rays are even different. Hatching some interesting (if medically dubious) hypothetical explanations for this phenomenon, Cara begins a detective project that seems to go in the right direction before leading to even harder-to-explain anomalies—and one or two more personalities, each with its own distinct accent, hiding out in Adam's head.

Directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein are liberal in their use of slow-creep camera moves and tension-steeping music cues, creating an unsubtle but enjoyable psychological-thriller vibe. But early on, shots of unexplained disease and fluttering shadows reveal the filmmakers have other things in mind, supernatural leanings that grow more obvious each time the script has one character ask another about his or her faith in God.

Fair enough—this angle provides some Southern Gothic fun at first, with an encounter between one of Adam's personalities, who turns out to have been a real person, murdered 25 years ago, and the dead man's mother. But further investigation leads to increasingly kooky hillbilly hokum: backwoods caricatures who practice psychic surgery, scrawl weird runes, and make the kind of macabre art a junior-high student might create after watching The Blair Witch Project. Moore is required to keep a straight face during all this, and does so admirably, but things fall apart as Marlind and Stein connect the dots between old-as-the-hills witchcraft and the case she's investigating. In this light, the escalating dangers faced by Harding and her family are more tiresome than thrilling.
The Hollywood Reporter



Film Review: 6 Souls

Psychology-themed horror tale goes a little nutty in the end.

April 10, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1375568-6_Souls_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

A psychiatrist hoping to debunk an alleged case of multiple-personality disorder is eventually failed by science in 6 Souls, a thriller that takes its time revealing just how heavily invested it is in the supernatural. An appealing cast and well-executed mood of foreboding would seem to hold some promise commercially, but the script grows silly in the third act, letting the picture down in ways that explain the marginal release Radius-TWC is giving it domestically.

Julianne Moore plays Cara Harding, a mental-health professional constantly at odds with her father (Jeffrey DeMunn), also a shrink, over the legitimacy of multiple-personality diagnoses. In the background, the two also fight over religious faith, which Cara clings to despite having lost her husband to a senseless killing.

Dad's latest test case is a doozy: Adam (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a tough-talking man with severe color blindness who sometimes transforms into gentle David, a normally sighted paraplegic so physically altered from his host that their X-rays are even different. Hatching some interesting (if medically dubious) hypothetical explanations for this phenomenon, Cara begins a detective project that seems to go in the right direction before leading to even harder-to-explain anomalies—and one or two more personalities, each with its own distinct accent, hiding out in Adam's head.

Directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein are liberal in their use of slow-creep camera moves and tension-steeping music cues, creating an unsubtle but enjoyable psychological-thriller vibe. But early on, shots of unexplained disease and fluttering shadows reveal the filmmakers have other things in mind, supernatural leanings that grow more obvious each time the script has one character ask another about his or her faith in God.

Fair enough—this angle provides some Southern Gothic fun at first, with an encounter between one of Adam's personalities, who turns out to have been a real person, murdered 25 years ago, and the dead man's mother. But further investigation leads to increasingly kooky hillbilly hokum: backwoods caricatures who practice psychic surgery, scrawl weird runes, and make the kind of macabre art a junior-high student might create after watching The Blair Witch Project. Moore is required to keep a straight face during all this, and does so admirably, but things fall apart as Marlind and Stein connect the dots between old-as-the-hills witchcraft and the case she's investigating. In this light, the escalating dangers faced by Harding and her family are more tiresome than thrilling.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Rudderless
Film Review: Rudderless

Well-done indie drama about a lost-soul house painter reborn through rock ’n’ roll is a nice actor’s showcase for star Billy Crudup and an impressive directorial debut for actor William H. Macy. But in spite of some good work onscreen, both hero and story lack the edge and originality to carry this drama beyond respectability. More »

Camp X-Ray
Film Review: Camp X-Ray

Army guard and Guantanamo detainee form a grudging relationship in a thoughtful but far-fetched drama. More »

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Film Review: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

As charming as it is delicate, this unusually low-key, if a tad overlong, animated feature brings yet more prestige to the famed Ghibli output. More »

Dear White People
Film Review: Dear White People

There won't be a smarter or funnier screenplay this year (or more striking feature directorial debut), and that is just the basis for this surprising, wonderful and quite definitive college film. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Fury Review
Film Review: Fury

American tanks fight superior German forces in the closing days of World War II. More »

Birdman
Film Review: Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Virtuosic camerawork and a stellar ensemble of actors more than make up for the occasional moment of portentous twaddle in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's latest—and maybe his best—film. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here