About This Item

Preview Image for Psychosis
Psychosis (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000131986
Added by: David Beckett
Added on: 16/7/2010 15:33
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Other Images


    6 / 10

    Written and directed by Reg Traviss, whose only previous film was the 2006 drama Joy Division, this film sees him move to the horror/thriller genre with an interesting take on an old theme which has its roots going back many decades and is probably most notable for films like The Innocents, from Henry James' novel The Turn of the Screw.

    Psychosis sees newlyweds Susan and David move north from London to an old, abandoned mansion which she hopes will help to finish her latest crime thriller novel. The film begins with a section set in 1992 in which a group of hippies, in an attempt to prevent some building work, camp out in the woods surrounding an old mansion. Their stay doesn't last long as, just as they are getting settled for the night, an axe wielding maniac turns up and butchers the lot of them.

    Inline Image

    Susan is a native Californian and has seemingly only just recently relocated to be with her new husband, a city trader, and hopes that this move to a more reclusive environment will give her the perfect environment in which to write. If the prologue didn't sate your bloodlust or provide enough jumps, the following 70 minutes or so will more than compensate. Just as Jack Torrance discovered in the Overlook Hotel, a strange and remote location can play tricks with your mind to the point where you are not sure if what you're seeing is real or imaginary.

    Susan suffers the same problem as, just after arriving, she takes a relaxing stroll in the woods but is shocked to find a hairy local man on the job (so to speak) and doesn't really care that Susan has walked in on him and even seems to relish in the attention, staring at her whilst rutting away and, a few moments later, flashes her. When Susan reports what she is just encountered to her husband, he calmly replies that she has just met Peck, the gamekeeper, and that is probably what these northern folks get up to.

    Inline Image

    Things get stranger from there as Susan keep seeing a teenager in a hooded top playing soccer outside her window and, when she goes outside to tell him to stop, he is nowhere to be seen. She also has fleeting visions of a strange looking guy with dyed blonde hair painting and is convinced that Peck has broken into the house and begun a campaign of terror against her. Of course, she has absolutely no proof of what she has seen, there is no evidence of forced entry and no one else was around to corroborate her stories. She begins to think that she is losing her mind and seeks solace in the local priest, Reverend Swan, who introduces her to a psychic.

    Unbeknownst to Susan, David's trips to London aren't entirely limited to business matters and he spends time enjoying himself with drink, drugs and half naked women who entertain their guests by doing such things as getting out of the Jacuzzi, taking off their knickers and sitting on a glass table for the man laid underneath to enjoy the view. When he returns, he doesn't really have much time for Susan's tales of woe and is convinced that she is either making it up or imagining the whole thing.

    Inline Image

    Psychosis isn't the most original film to come my way, nor is it the most accomplished film that I have ever seen. Despite all this, it is a decent watch and I watched it on consecutive nights, once for the technical aspects and the second time, knowing how it ends, to see how Reg Traviss worked all the information that is revealed at the end into the film as it unfolds. It is a neatly constructed thriller which works on both a visceral and psychological level, with a decent main character in Susan, who is well played by Charisma Carpenter, best known for her TV work with Joss Whedon, but seems to fit in quite well in a feature length film. Paul Sculfor, who plays David, made his acting debut here after a career as a model, and this is the second film I've seen him in two weeks as he was also in the British gangster movie Baseline and, on the evidence of these two films, he has taken to acting like the proverbial duck to water. One of the more bizarre casting decisions was the inclusion of Justin Hawkins, best known as the front man from that fairly short lived British rock band The Darkness!

    All in all, this is a fairly well made and acted movie that will not set the world alight but offers enough to satisfy both hard-core horror fans and average viewers who don't mind that he had horror/thriller alike.

    The Disc

    Extra Features
    The Making of Psychosis is a 31 minute piece which comprises interview footage with members of the principal cast and crew (and some of the more peripheral crew members) against production stills and clips from the film. They all talk at length about how they became involved, what their roles are and what the shoot was like. It isn't the most comprehensive or in-depth making of I've ever seen, but it is well worth watching.

    The only other extra feature is quarter of an hour of deleted scenes which are of varying quality, both in terms of the material and the AV presentation as some are very rough with the counters at the bottom whereas others are the same quality as those that made it onto the finished film. I can't say that any of them really needed to be there and the film is poorer for their absence, so the right decisions were obviously made.

    Inline Image

    The Picture
    Aside from the odd white spot, the picture is extremely good, with good colours and contrast levels which show off the Somerset countryside very well. The locations are all very well chosen and do a good job of recreating both urban and rural England.

    The Sound
    The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is pretty clear, presenting the dialogue fairly well although there are a couple of scenes where the optional English HoH subtitles did come in useful. The film is fairly well scored and the music certainly helps to build atmosphere and tension whilst also contributing to the jumps.

    Inline Image

    Final Thoughts
    Psychosis certainly isn't the best 'is she crazy or is she really being harassed and manipulated?' film ever released as Rosemary's Baby probably sits proudly on top of that list and even something like Gothika is an overlooked entry in the subgenre. However, Psychosis is a very watchable film with a surprisingly good performance by Charisma Carpenter at its centre and, in only his film debut, Paul Sculfor proves to be a reliable screen presence. Reg Traviss has made an interesting and fairly well made movie that will find many fans as this is one of those films that benefits from repeated viewings.

    Your Opinions and Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!