Review: ‘Suspended Animation’

Husband-wife team of veteran helmer John Hancock and scripter Dorothy Tristan ("Weeds") has concocted a psychological drama cum genteel shocker that's long on ambition and short on delivery.

Husband-wife team of veteran helmer John Hancock and scripter Dorothy Tristan (“Weeds”) has concocted a psychological drama cum genteel shocker that’s long on ambition and short on delivery. Vaguely “Misery”-derived premise has animation director traveling by snowmobile detained by two grotesque aging sisters who cannibalize unwary visitors. Hero emerges unscathed but obsessed, searching out the unknowing progeny of younger twisted sister. Uncompelling lead, low-budget approximations of big studio look, and stolidly restrained feel definitely don’t jibe with current horror demographics, though bottom-line professionalism may secure pic a cable niche.

Loony sister’s grown-up, given-up-for-adoption daughter seems normal enough, but legacy of evil has apparently skipped a generation — her teenage son beats Mom up, tortures raccoons and pops his pimples and eats the pus, the latter by far the greatest transgression to judge by our sensitive hero’s averted face. Script makes vague stabs at relating trauma to art, but these aspirations are sunk by muddy psychology and by-rote genre nods: a screening of the past-haunted cartoon director’s latest opus, wherein mad sisters figure prominently as flying harpies, only serves to usher in an unsurprising “she isn’t really dead!” finale.

Suspended Animation

Production

A Filmacres production. Produced by Robert J. Hiler, John Hancock. Executive producer, Carey Westberg. Co-producers, Dean Jacobson, Ken Kitch. Directed by John Hancock. Screenplay, Dorothy Tristan.

Crew

Camera (color, HDV), Misha Suslov; editor, Dennis O'Connor; music, Angelo Badalementi; music supervisor, Chris Ussery; production designer, Don Jacobson; costume designer, Richard Donnelly. Reviewed at Hamptons Film Festival (World Cinema), Oct. 19, 2002. Running time: 114 MIN.

With

Alex McArthur, Laura Esterman, Sage Allen, Rebecca Harrell, Maria Cina, Fred Meyers.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading