Peter Curtin

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Till Human Voices Wake Us Review


Weak
I feel sorry for Till Human Voices Wake Us, the new supernatural romance starring Guy Pearce and Helena Bonham Carter. Not because it's a good movie that won't get the respect it deserves - it is, in fact, a quite slow and heavy-handed film - but because it has the bad luck to open only one week before David Cronenberg's masterpiece Spider, a far better film that shares many of the same themes and devices. If timing is everything, Till Human Voices Wake Us has very little going for it.

Michael Petroni, the film's writer/first-time director, wrote the screenplay for Till Human Voices Wake Us while still attending LA's American Film Institute and, according to my press notes, won a couple of awards for this story, which concerns an Australian psychologist forced to confront his past demons after meeting a mysterious young woman while at his family's summer house to bury his father. Like Cronenberg's infinitely superior examination of the mind's destructive capacity for denial, the film exists on two planes: the present, which finds Dr. Sam Frank (Pearce) trying to figure out who Ruby (Carter) is and why she's in the small Aussie town of Genoa; and the past, in which we learn about Sam's childhood summer romance with a young beauty named Sylvia.

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Darkness Falls Review


Weak

If the writers, producers or director of "Darkness Falls" would have held themselves to a higher standard than just recycling the same cheap, soundtrack-aided horror movie jump-frights that have made the genre so tiresome, this movie might have been a real goosepimpler.

Its recasting of the Tooth Fairy as a bloodthirsty specter hunting the kids of a small town is creepy enough that the most bone-chilling line in the movie is, "Remember, when the Tooth Fairy comes, don't peek!" After that, simply the sight of a child setting a tooth on his dresser at bedtime is enough to get your anxiety flowing (not to mention your curiosity wondering what kind of twisted stage mother lets her little kid star in a horror movie).

But acting on the assumption that their target audience doesn't care about anything except a handful of popcorn-spilling jolts, neither director Jonathan Liebesman nor any of the film's three writers put much effort toward creating a good scary movie. They dropped a new supernatural, masked killer under the hood of the same old jalopy and put the pedal to the metal.

Continue reading: Darkness Falls Review

Till Human Voices Wake Us Review


Weak

It's difficult to be objective about a not-quite-satisfactory movie that only serves to remind you of a sensational one, and that's exactly what "Till Human Voices Wake Us" did for me.

It's a dead-lover's-ghost story about a handsome, disconnected Australian psych professor named Dr. Sam Frank (Guy Pearce, "Memento") who returns to his hamlet hometown for his father's funeral, only to find himself flooded with memories of the childhood sweetheart whose drowning has clearly haunted and disillusioned his whole life.

In flashbacks we see Sam as a cheerful 13-year-old (Lindley Joyner) falling tentatively in love with his best friend Silvy (Brooke Harmon), a sweet, open-faced girl whose spirit is completely unrestrained by the polio that keeps her in leg braces. In the present day, oh-so-serious adult Sam rescues a beautiful stranger (Helena Bonham Carter) he sees jumping from a train trestle during a rainstorm in an apparent suicide attempt. When she wakes in his father's house with total amnesia, the memories that eventually start returning to her seem to be those of Silvy -- a fact that both entrances and rattles Sam, and awakens his deadened soul.

Continue reading: Till Human Voices Wake Us Review

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There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.

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Peter Curtin Movies

Till Human Voices Wake Us Movie Review

Till Human Voices Wake Us Movie Review

I feel sorry for Till Human Voices Wake Us, the new supernatural romance starring Guy...

Darkness Falls Movie Review

Darkness Falls Movie Review

If the writers, producers or director of "Darkness Falls" would have held themselves to a...

Till Human Voices Wake Us Movie Review

Till Human Voices Wake Us Movie Review

It's difficult to be objective about a not-quite-satisfactory movie that only serves to remind you...

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