Sunday, 19 August 2012

Harrowed Souls

Robert Altman's 1972 film Images, is a twisted little chiller about madness and sanity that has more atmosphere than a dozen contemporary features. A children's author, plagued by mysterious phone calls, flees with her hubby to their country cottage only for her troubles to deepen and as she scrabbles about furiously for her missing marbles she decides to conquer her visions violently. There's a nebulous ambiguity to the film with momentary doppelgangers, missing time and jumbled identities all confidently sewn together by a stunning performance from Susannah York whose descent into madness throbs incessantly at the centre of the film.

Madness and paranoia plague another beautiful woman, Lena Hedley, in low budget chiller The Broken. After spotting her doppelganger in the streets of London our protagonist is involved in a car accident and finds herself questioning her own her sanity when other family members begin to seem a little 'different'. Though it lacks the subtlety and ambiguity of Images this is a nice little horror whose effectiveness lies on the measured yet tremulous central performance from Hedley rather than it's script which stumbles in the final third, over exerting itself explaining away it's mysteries.

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