Based on a text by Poe and starring Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine and David Thewlis. That has got to be something, right?
“Stonehearst Asylum” is amusing, but not great. The asylum from the title is remote home for the insane in Victorian times. Edward Newgate travels to the asylum to complete his education. The asylum proves to have some oddly modern methods of treating their patients.
Of course things are not as they seem. Newgate slowly starts to unravel the mysteries of the place which is not received with applaus by the people in charge.
The film has romance, humor and thriller elements and -as we saw- a stack of big actors. All this cannot raise the film above the level ‘average’ though.
I had never heard of this film, nor of the director, but the very short story on the back of the box was interesting enough to get it and see it. What a nice surprise! Good to see that there are still films with an original story, minimal setting but still a good atmosphere.
Five men get the major job to clean a massive building that used to be a mental instution from asbestos. The institute is remote, enormous, in a progressed state of decay and at places shows what used to go on there. ‘Advanced’ methods of treatment which you see nothing off, but the suggestion gives the film a nice grim atmosphere. Also the title is brilliantly come up with. When the film starts you don’t know what it refers to, in the beginning of the film you do, but you know you will have to wait for what it really it. As the film continues doubts raise whether what you see if real or illusion and this question isn’t answered.
A very nice surprise, finally a good thriller/horror from hollywood with a good claustrophobic atmosphere.