Saturday, 6 November 2010

Knife Edge

I've just watched 'Knife Edge' (Directed by Anthony Hickox, 2009) and couldn't believe that in today's economic climate such a dreadful film was given a green light.

The storyline was pretty thin. IMDb lists the teaser as - 'A successful Wall Street trader returns to England with her new husband and five-year-old son, but their new start together turns into a nightmare when they move into a country house which contains a terrible secret.' But in reality it's a string of cliché-driven set-pieces from the off. I was even shouting at the TV when the leading woman was in the bathroom and opened the mirrored cabinet door, and sure enough when she closed it there was a 'shock' moment that only she could see, and when she turned around it had gone. Yawn. And the whole dead-spirit boy thing was so old-hat it was laughable. The sound of wind whistling in the old house - no matter where the characters were - was, I'm sure an effort to convince the viewer that the house was creepy and haunted, but after a while it became an annoyance - like static, and very quickly began to grate. Less is more, boys.

The bad guy is telegraphed so early on I thought that it must be a double-bluff, but no, sadly not. About twenty minutes in I was still waiting for something to happen. What doesn't help is that Natalie Press (the protagonist) is, I'm sorry to say, absolutely dreadful. Pretty much every line she delivers sounds like it's coming from a wannabe am-dram queen: weak, stilted, no emotion (or the wrong emotion) and 'false' - she'd learnt the lines but there was nothing behind the words. I read a post on the IMDb page suggesting that she get the 'Worst Actress' award. Her sister in the film - Tamsin Egerton - would have been a far better casting choice, as she can at least deliver a line convincingly. Joan Plowright was the only other notable as the doddery old house-keeper, and the brother - Andrew (Lorcan O'Toole) - sounded like he based the characterisation of his character from a class of society that he's only ever seen or read about. Terrible.

Hugh Bonneville was on top form - as usual - as the family friend/trust-fund administrator, until he has to become 'evil' and then he, sadly, goes into pantomime villain territory. The ending chase sequence was laboured to the point of becoming a joke and the final despatching of Hugh's character was neither stylish nor clever, despite the fact that I'm sure the director thought it was.

A real shocker of a film, and for all the wrong reasons.

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