• Double Identity (2009)


    Although this is low budget thriller with some little goofs, I found this movie extremely entertaining and surprising.

    Val Kilmer might have become a slow and fat guy, but he is still a very charismatic and talented actor and is credible in his role as a hesitating and nervous doctor who becomes more and more determined to find the pieces of a mysterious and complicated puzzle even if he could have played his role with a little bit more emotions. The charming and beautiful Izabelle Miko does also a great job as a "femme fatale" and double-agent in troubles. Bulgaria is an interesting shooting place for this movie and presents us a little bit of a foreign culture and city.

    Concerning the story line, this movie has several surprises and is sometimes difficult to follow with all its intrigues, conspiracies and double-agents. I think that the story is well elaborated and deserves us some surprises and twists. That's maybe why many people don't understand the goals of some organizations. But if you watch this movie with more attention again and do not concentrate on the question if the cars are more recent than 1992 when the story is settled (who really cares) or if several criminals speak in Russian (by the way, it is logical that especially the Russian criminals tried to get a better life elsewhere after the downfall of communism and the creation of many "new" countries), you might understand more and more all the details and connections in this well done agent movie.

    This movie is surely nothing innovating or extremely suspenseful, but good entertainment and a twisted and surprising movie with two interesting main actors.


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  • Les sept jours du talion (2010)


    This movie is a very intense psychological thriller filmed in very grey and depressive images and words that create a perfect atmosphere for this doom slow paced movie. The movie seems to be a simple vengeance story, but it goes far beyond this. Let me warn you first: There are not many torture scenes in this movie, so if you expect some gore stuff here, you may not be satisfied at all in the end. The title and trailer could be somehow misleading.

    The film has in fact a very philosophical touch and questions about the sense of life and death as well as vengeance or forgiveness. The movie shows how difficult such topics are and has almost some documentary influences as it shows the reactions of the society, the police, the victim's families. But there are also metaphoric elements in this movie like the scenes with the dead deer body that represents the dead body of the raped and killed daughter that lead us slowly towards a melancholic end that many find unsatisfying but which fits perfectly to the whole atmosphere and intention of the movie. The story is surprisingly realistic. All those points I really like about this great Quebecker movie.

    What I rather dislike is that there is something like a highlight missing. When the father has kidnapped the murderer of his daughter and the police is looking for him, you expect that the tension and action raises, that each character's profoundness may be developed and that there are some disturbing twists but nothing happens at all. The movie concentrates on the profoundness of the main character but I think that the characters of the murderer, the police officer or the kidnapper's wife could have been more developed. The movie also concentrates too much on the logical follow-up of the story and the tension goes really down at some point in the movie as there are no real surprises or turning points like in the heavier and more disturbing shocker "5150 on Elm Street", a movie based on the novel by the same author as this one. This movie's strength is its depressive atmosphere and the main actor's brilliant acting but it has too much of a one man show.

    If you are looking for an alternative depressive psycho thriller with some philosophical elements, I highly recommend this movie for you. But if you are looking for a bloody shocker with a twisted ending, just forget about it.


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  • Melissa (1966)


    I remember that I have seen this mini-series on an autumn night because there was nothing else on the television. They showed the whole three parts of this mini-series in one single movie. I didn't expect much from this film and I began really slow paced like most of the traditional thrillers of the seventies but the more the movie advanced, the more interesting, disturbing and intense it became. I remember that there were many interesting twists in the movie. The best thing about this movie, when we watch it nowadays and not in the time of the sixties when this mini-series has been a real big blockbuster in Western Germany, is the creepy atmosphere created by the black and white shooting that gives this movie an original charm.

    If you like the legendary German Edgar Wallace movies of the sixties and the British Agatha Christie movies that came out in the same decade, you will surely like "Melissa" too. This movie is nothing mind blowing or shocking any more nowadays, but at least an interesting piece of history and culture and a very charming, atmospheric and entertaining long movie.


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  • Mindhunters (2004)


    This movie is probably my favourite psycho thriller of all times. The film inspired me even to begin again to write novels after I have watched it. I have seen this movie at least three times and I get always drowned in a very special atmosphere when I listen to it and never get bored watching it.

    I know that the idea of an isolated group in an isolated place where a murderer is killing one after the other is nothing new indeed. But that is the only critical point about this movie, that it is nothing innovating, surprising or unique. It is not the originality that makes this movie one of the best ones of its genre to me, but its intense atmosphere and the characters realistic behaviours.

    The rest of the movie is just brilliant. From the beginning on, there is a good tension and dark atmosphere in the movie. The characters are all doing a very solid job even if they are not playing the roles of their lives. But especially LL Cool J, who has often been criticized as a weak actor and Val Kilmer, about whom many people think that his days of glory have passed a long time ago, do a credible job and are the most famous actors of this movie. Only Patricia Velasquez is doing a less convincing job after all.

    This movie takes the time to introduce each one of the characters but doesn't take no prisoners and gets you quite fast in a dark mood. When the murderer begins its bloody work, you are always thinking and analyzing what might happen next and it is the original and stunning way the murderer chooses how to kill each victim and how he or she announces when to kill the next one what makes this movie very interesting. Each time I watch this movie, I am not able anymore to stop watching the movie or even take a break, it addicts me completely and my eyes seem to be glued on the screen. There is a lot of realistic psychology in the way each one of the characters acts as the tension raises. There are many twists and riddles to be solved in this movie and you get a surprising and satisfying showdown in the end of this intense movie.

    If you like classical psycho thrillers, you will surely not live a deception with this one and get one hundred minutes of intense entertaining.


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  • Mulholland Dr. (2001)


    This movie is another surreal piece of art by David Lynch, but it's not as great as the amazing and twisted "Lost highway" or the wonderful "Twin Peaks" series. Those movies ore episode are simply over the top. But it is still a movie that is more intense, intelligent and surprising than most of the other so called psycho thrillers and is worth a ten star vote.

    A little advice: You must also watch "Lost highway", because this movie is like a twin of this unique masterpiece! Now, let us begin with the bad points, because there aren't very much. This movie is not as twisted, surreal and surprising than "Lost highway". That doesn't mean that you might be able to understand it when you have just watched it once, but your not that literally lost as in "Lost highway". I also think that this movie copies the structure of "Lost highway" a lot and is less innovating. There is also a slow paced beginning, then a key event, the looking for the truth beyond dream and reality, the sudden change and the twisted ending connecting the end of the movie with its beginning. With the scenes of the house party in the ending, Lynch gives a lot of possible solutions and keys to the viewer and doesn't let him or her just stunning and without any clue like in his previous work. But if you think by now that this movie is easy to understand than David Lynch gives you such a strange element in the last scene of the movie that makes you desperate and that makes you think that you are back in "Eraserhead". But why should Lynch change his style after he had created a true masterpiece a few years ago? We should just see those points as minor critic points. It is not an ten plus extra star masterpiece but just an excellent ten star movie.

    Now, there is another negative point that I have to mention in a more general way: David Lynch wanted to start a new series around "Mulholland Drive" and this would have been such a great experience as "Twin Peaks" was or even better and David Lynch put all his creative imagination and dedicated a part of himself to the project - but Americas blockbuster-minded, easy-watching-commercialized Hollywood bosses didn't believe in a success and didn't accord the necessary amounts to one of their genius - the series might not have been popular and a good sell. That's why David Lynch was never able to finish his dream of a new series and we might have never seen parts of his filming if some French investors wouldn't have supported him and convinced him to make at least a movie out of his filming. David Lynch got financial support and an open-minded entourage and that's why he turned some new scenes, worked out a slightly new screenplay and created this new movie. A big thank you to the French supporters and thumps down towards the American film industry which let fall one of their best talents. And maybe all those complicated circumstances are the reason why Lynch made cartoons and worked as a producer in the next years and we had to wait seven years before he came back with the low-budget semi-masterpiece "Inland Empire", it's a really sad thing.

    Now, let's talk about the very positive parts of the movie. It has a little bit less dark atmosphere in the beginning than "Lost highway", but there is a key event and some action right after the introduction that make this movie easier to watch - the "accident" on the Mulholland Drive. But after this happen some really strange scenes that create a really thrilled atmosphere and that make the viewer of that movie think, guess and analyze - the strange old couple, the guy who has strange nightmares, the killer who's doing some stupid mistakes... There are many interesting details in this movie, even more than in "Lost highway" and the viewer becomes somehow an analyzer or detective. This movie requests multiple viewings and personally, I discover new elements after each viewing and I have seen the movie at least three or four times by now and it wasn't the last time. You really see that Lynch was supposed to do a series with this one because of all the well thought details.

    "Mulholland Drive" lives also from the great acting of the two feminine main actors, especially the really charming Naomi Watts who does the job of her life. Every character is unique in this movie even the smaller roles like the nightmare guy and this point is even done better and more intense than in "Lost highway". Only the role of the cowboy has a lot of similarities to the role of the mystery man in "Lost highway", it is just a pity that he has not much space in this movie.

    And there is the same advice that I gave for "Lost highway": expect the unexpected! That may not be as clear in the first three quarters of the movie, it is less disturbing that other works of Lynch, but in the last one, you should better be prepared for some weird stuff that was worth the wait. I agree with critics who say that this movie has a certain Lynchian routine - but his routine is far away from being boring and especially the final thirty minutes should convince you! So, if you want to see a movie that makes work your mind and feelings, a movie you must concentrate on and that may request multiple viewings to understand, you will really appreciate this one. If you're looking for an easy movie for a DVD night with some friends - go for something else, because your party people might get frightened!


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