Thursday, July 18, 2013

Film Review: 6 Souls (2009)

6 Souls (Review)
United States/2009
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

Cara (Julianne Moore), a psychiatrist, gets a call from her father, also a psychiatrist, about a special patient. The patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) introduces himself as David Bernburg. After an interview, David Bernburg convulses and becomes Adam. Cara then begins to search for a reasonable explanation, but soon realized something sinister may be responsible...

The story continues as a blend of mystery and horror. Cara is the skeptical, know-it-all psychiatrist we've seen a few times before, albeit with slight differences. Some of her interviews and explanations are interesting, but there is not much depth. However, the interviews, the investigations, the experiments is enough to hold together a thoroughly entertaining first half. The second half, on the other hand, becomes repetitive, predictable, and preachy; Cara has to race to save a loved one while admitting to what she rejected during the first half. Toss in a few jump-scares and a moody atmosphere, and you have the 6 Souls story. The ending of the film was okay, but underwhelming.

6 Souls is a little confusing. Other than the inconsistent storytelling, characters are introduced quickly with little development or attachment and some scenes are not fully explained. So, most of the characters, and their names, are forgettable in a film with a concept that relies heavily on these elements. Also, the story seems to be concerned with confusing the audience in an attempt to buildup an amazing twist; unfortunately, the suspense and buildup is mostly ineffective and the twist is underwhelming. The blame rests on the generic and cliché approach to a familiar concept - we've seen this film before, and better. Nonetheless, as a whole, the story is interesting and there are a few creepy, even scary, scenes to enjoy - especially during the first half, or even the first two acts.

Julianne Moore plays the lead well; far from bad and just short of exceptional. Jonathan Rhys Meyers stood out to me as he took on multiple characters; he does this well as he changes the tone, the pitch, and even the accent of his voice constantly throughout the film. The rest of the acting is solid. Although it isn't anything special, the music is well-fitted and helps develop the dark atmosphere of the film. The editing is great; it has a few unique and experimental shots. The cinematography is also great, especially during the outdoor scenes.

Overall, 6 Souls, formerly Shelter, is a good mystery-horror film. The story is interesting and entertaining, despite being generic, predictable, and repetitive. The acting, the music, the
editing, and the cinematography make for a technically great film, as well. I recommend a rental for fans of the genre, a stream if you have a membership.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some strong blood and violence.

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