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

Small Time
Film Review: Small Time

You might not buy a used car from the guys in Small Time, but you will enjoy the movie about their exploits, even their exploitations (of others). More »

Fading Gigolo
Film Review: Fading Gigolo

Some top screen talent gets lost in the silliness surrounding the amorous adventures of an unlikely gigolo and his even more unlikely pimp, with writer/director/actor John Turturro the shtupper “ho” co-starring with Woody Allen as the mercenary shtup-enabler. Yarmulkes off to Turturro’s brave but deeply ill-conceived comedic foray into Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidic community and other alien territory. More »

A Promise
Film Review: A Promise

Handsomely filmed but wan period romance. More »

Final Member
Film Review: The Final Member

Breezy documentary about the aging owner of a small Icelandic museum dedicated to penises and his quest for one last, coveted exhibit is a charmer, thanks to the warmth and sly sense of humor the protagonist brings to his unusual hobby. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Transcendence
Film Review: Transcendence

Johnny Depp is an idealistic researcher whose consciousness is uploaded into an artificial intelligence in this slick techno-thriller with delusions of seriousness from Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer. More »

Draft Day
Film Review: Draft Day

Pro football manager faces crises on the most important day of his career in a well-tooled vehicle for Kevin Costner. 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