Sunday, October 28, 2012
Ahhh, this movie was just what the doctor ordered tonight. After watching the unsatisfying trifecta of films I endured tonight, I was about ready to throw my TV out the window if I had to sit through another movie that throws a bunch of creepy images at me but raises a lot of questions and then never bothers to answer them. I started this movie without bothering to look at the credits, and then when it started, I noticed who the director was - don't worry, it wasn't Pascal Laugier again, it was Jaume Balaguero. As some of you know, I'm in love with him. I momentarily ended our love affair after watching "The Nameless" earlier this month and hating it, but I can't let one bad movie ruin the impression that all his good movies have left with me, and I had faith that if anyone could lift the dark cloud over my head, he could. And he came through for me! What a guy.
This movie is about a run-down hospital in England that will be closing down soon so it's operating with a skeleton crew. After some unsettling events, the night nurse quits, so another nurse is hired as a last-minute replacement for her, and the unsettling events ratchet up to just plain terrifying. The children claim to have seen someone they call "the mechanical girl," a girl named Charlotte that none of the adults can see, and they claim that this mysterious Charlotte is responsible for the creepy "accidents" that keep happening at the hospital. Soon the new night nurse is coming unhinged and doesn't know what to do to protect the children and herself from this menacing spirit, but she knows she has to try.
Calista Flockhart plays the new night nurse Amy, and she does a great job. I'm not familiar with her work, though I know she was Ally McBeal, but she kills it in this role. everyone does a great job, actually, there's not one actor that makes me go "oh honey, don't quit your day job," and that's rare for me (especially when I'm in as bad a mood as I was in by the time I watched this movie). Like all of Balaguero's films, this one is very atmospheric, with the creepy corridors of the hospital becoming almost as frightening as the ghost itself. And what a ghost! The creepy critter in this movie is so freaky looking that I actually winced whenever she was onscreen, so that definitely added to the tension for me. I did figure out what was going on with the haunting before the movie reveals it, but not for awhile, so that didn't really bother me, and the story is scary even though I did clue into what was going on, so I didn't mind that I'd solved the mystery. I loved the characters, loved the atmosphere, loved the ghostly effects, and just plain loved this movie. Just what I needed to see tonight.