Dedicated to filmmaker Stuart Gordon with a screenplay derived from an original, challenging prose by H.P. Lovecraft, this is a stunning body swapping horror given particular pizazz by the mature cast involved, especially the avalanche of delirium delivered from ravishing Heather Graham, as Dr Elizabeth Derby.
Beginning in flashback, the narrative remains careful not to reveal clear details, keeping a cryptic essence.
Breaking the medical rules almost immediately as new patient Asa (Judah Lewis) walks into her psychiatric practice, Dr Derby becomes obsessed with the mysterious young man with split-personalities that later comes to light as an ancient curse, that can hurl into other vessels, including causing outer-body experiences for the Doc.
Cue maniacal sex scenes, shocking splatter violence, weird demonic rituals and key streaks of jet black comedy moments to kind of lighten the mood.
Larger than life, fearless horror legend Barbara Crampton, brings sly professionalism to the role of Dr. Daniella Upton, best friend and colleague to the unstable Dr. Derby. Actually Heather and Barbara could be sisters, their ageless auras beam across the screen. These two are irrepressible. Lesser known Giovannie Cruz, equally enigmatic as Officer Huxley.
Rounding out central casting is great Ann Mahoney (Assassination Nation) veteran Bruce Davison (Crimes of Passion) and seemingly flying under the radar for the last fifteen years since making a slight impact in a remake of Prom Night (2008) Jonathan Schaech is a terrific counterpoint here as bewildered husband, wondering why his wife is acting so bizarre.
He shares unequivocal different love scenes with Graham, one pedestrian complete with accompanying saxophone whilst the other is a wild cackling thrashing on the lounge.
Odd, enjoyably gory ode to an ever-popular genre, lovingly full of horror references, including a blatant nod to Re-Animator (1985) among others, thanks to director Joe Lynch, also responsible for under appreciated, Everly (2014).
Horror, Thriller | USA, 2023 | 18 | Cinema, Digital (Shudder 2024)| Vertigo Releasing | Dir.Joe Lynch | Heather Graham, Barbara Crampton, Judah Lewis, Bruce Davison, Johnathon Schaech, Ann Mahoney
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