Monday, October 14, 2013

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD (2006) movie review

The Living and the Dead (2006) d. Simon Rumley (UK)

A gut-wrenching exploration of mental illness, social status, age and mortality, writer/director Simon Rumley’s macabre microbudget masterpiece attacks viewers with staccato visuals and a driving soundscape serving its terrifying high-concept narrative.

Determined to prove his worth to his stiff Brit father (Roger Lloyd Pack), a mentally challenged young man (Leo Bill) barricades his terminally ill mother (Kate Fahy) and himself within their once-beautiful-now-lying-derelict royal manor house, desperate to care for/cure her ills despite his obvious inability to do so.

Anchored by three amazing central performances, Rumley’s frenetic cinematic style recalls that of Darren Aronofsky’s nightmarish Requiem for a Dream, an apt comparison considering that both films contain undeniably horrifying imagery and scenarios, yet skirt the fringe of the genre proper. Highly recommended.

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