PSYCHOPATHS [FrightFest]

PrintE-mail Written by John Higgins

Psychopaths, which closed the first day of this year’s FrightFest, is an audacious and ambitious idea a la V/H/S. Several plot threads and mini-movies involving the tale of how one dead serial killer infects the minds of seven and in the process, we get a chance to see how they cope in one night in Los Angeles.

However, the big problem with a film like this is although it is a daring concept that you can maybe pull off like Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction, the very thing that you are trying to achieve can also alienate the audience because of the constant to-ing and fro-ing between tales. It certainly was something that suffered on the original V/H/S film where this writer certainly was struggling to keep abreast of which story was being told at what point.

Given that it was late at night after watching Cult Of Chucky and Death Note and this writer was sort of beginning to flag as the witching hour approached, Psychopaths may well be one of those films this writer will have to catch when it appears in a future screening slot on the Horror Channel or on DVD.

One tale for example tells of Alice, who thinks she is a glamour model in the 1950s, unaware of her despicable acts whilst trying to proclaim the audience’s love for her. It was atmospheric and passable on its own terms and indeed; each of the stories would stand on their own if they were expanded to a ninety-minute running time.

We are trying to recall vividly what the other tales were as this review is being written and herein lies part of the problem the film will have in reaching the suitable audience. Some will find it a challenge to find any real empathy or consideration for the individuals or the world they inhabited in Psychopaths. People like Michael Rooker’s Henry or Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter do have such a depth to their characters that, even though you know that they are capable of evil acts, you do get a sense of what they are all about in the course of their lives and stories.

Structurally, the film would have worked better if the seven individuals were involved in a sick sort of one-upmanship to outdo each other in terms of death and mayhem.

Director Mickey Keating should be applauded for trying an ambitious idea, but perhaps he should focus on one particular story and build his characters within that. Psychopaths may well find an audience later on, given the right platform. All things considered, it was well suited to the FrightFest event and it at least got a screening on the excellent Arrow Screen.

PSYCHOPATHS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: MICKEY KEATING / STARRING: ASHLEY BELL, ANGELA TRIMBUR, MARK KASSEN / RELEASE DATE: UK RELEASE DATE TBA



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