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Review Stonehearst Asylum aka Eliza Graves (2014)

genre: mystery, thriller

When I read the premise and saw the story was inspired by a short tale written by Edgar Allen Poe it looked like this was going to be a Gothic horror. And the first twenty minutes do have that ambiance and feel to it which I liked very much. But very soon a reveal comes that does away with any of that. 

Instead, it goes into a different direction that in itself is intriguing but not as much as I hoped it would be. It then becomes some sort of statement which is commendable. Only for me quite disappointing. Now, I did enjoy Stonehearst Asylum. Most of the main cast make it worth your while. But they are let down by the lack of real suspense and dread. And it puzzles me why they did not make use of the setting and location more. As a drama it fails since not enough depth is given to the characters. Only at pivotal moments that shines through. (I just did some research on the short story The system of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, And it seems it is meant to be a dark comedy.) Stonehearst Asylum also fails as a dark comedy, since it takes itself far too seriously. This film was advertised as a thriller and when it fails to deliver on any kind of suspense it is hard for me to get all excited about this one. Like I said, the cast is what makes it worth your while, but if you promise thrills to be you should make good on it. And this does not happen. 

So while this was not a bad film, it is a poor thriller. Keep that in mind!

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