Sunday, August 17, 2014

Film Review: Asylum (1972)

Asylum (aka House of Crazies) (Review)
United Kingdom/1972
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Prime Instant Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"I wasn't particularly scared by any of the stories, but I was definitely entertained."

Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) arrives at an asylum for the incurably insane for a job interview. Martin can have the job if he can identify Dr. Starr, the former head of the asylum, who is now a patient...

Asylum is a horror anthology. Each story is told to Dr. Martin from a patient who may or may not be Dr. Starr. The first story, titled "Frozen Fear," is about the husband who conspires with his mistress to kill his rich wife. The second story, "The Weird Tailor," follows an old tailor on the verge of being kicked out into streets due to financial issues; he's given the opportunity to make money when an eerie man gives him the job of crafting a suit out of unknown materials. The third story "Lucy Comes To Stay," follows a young woman who is recently released from an asylum, and placed under the watchful eye of her brother and nurse; things go astray when her friend, Lucy, arrives. The final story, "Mannikins of Horror," blends into the frame story to tell of a doctor who creates small mannequins he plans on bringing to life. The ending of the story was surprising -- some may see it coming, but it's great, regardless.

I liked this horror anthology. Each story works on a slow-burn, with some light suspense and jump-scares. They build up ominous atmospheres and tell interesting and engaging stories. I wasn't particularly scared by any of the stories, but I was definitely entertained. My favorite story is Frozen Fear, followed by Lucy Comes To Stay. The Weird Tailor tells an interesting story, but it lacked the horror -- its just didn't have the suspense to be scary. The frame story was great, though. I especially liked how the last story sort of blends into the frame story.

The acting was all-around good. Although limited to the frame story, Robert Powell was really good. If anyone stands out, though, it would be Barbara Parkins -- she delivers a great performance. Otherwise, the film is technically well made. The only thing I didn't like about the shooting was in The Weird Tailor; the material used in the suit was too vivid, it distracted my eyes. The music was fantastic, I really liked the introduction and credit pieces; the rest of the soundtrack is ominous and eerie, which help build the atmosphere. Director Roy Ward Baker did well in creating atmosphere and light suspense.

Overall, Asylum is a good horror anthology. I didn't find any of it petrifying, but it was all-around entertaining. As a fan of horror anthologies, I found this to be very good compared to many of the anthologies I've seen. If you're looking for something atmospheric and short to kill a night, spend a night in this asylum.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment