A young doctor arrives at the gate of a gloomy Victorian mansion in an isolated location, and is welcomed by the superintendent of what is a small asylum where the residents seem to be free to indulge in their madness, whatever it is. Amongst the patients is an attractive woman who gives every impression of being sane, and who has been seen in a lecture given by a psychiatrist, shouting that she is not mad. The young doctor discovers that things are not as they seem, and that the real staff of the asylum are locked up in the basement. What is he to do?
The asylum is suitable threatening, the man who is not actually the superintendent pontificates. His assistant, a rough Irishman, dispenses violence randomly. Eliza Graves, talks with the young doctor, and generally helps out with the other patients. The real superintendent is seen in flashback to be keen on administering painful therapies, and in revenge has electic shock therapy administered. The patients cavort, the young doctor is theatened, the attractive patient is less helpful than we might hope. It is Gothic, a bit violent with some drinking, but no sex or nudity.
|A View||This outing achieved mixed reviews with Rotten Tomatoes possibly because, although there is some potential, it lacks real drama. Some of the critics have suggested that it might really have something to say about mental illnes and the treatement of patients but instead, as Tom Huddleston of Time Out says, “only to have them revealed as the usual bunch of shrieking, clothes-rending, central casting nutters”. I was hoping for a big twist but I was to be disappointed. So not really a watch, even for nothing.|
|Duration||1h 52m||Rating (UK)||15|
|Source of story||A short story by Edgar Allan Poe “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”.|
|Starring||Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Jason Flemyng,|
|Additional Info||There is no financial info available on IMDb or elsewhere, but the whole film was made in Bugaria mostly with Bugarian actors so we might hazard a guess at a production cost of $20 million and that it did not make its money back.|