Knife Edge Movie Review
Written by ZigZag
DVD released by Seven Arts Pictures
Written and Directed by Anthony Hickox
2008, Region 2 (PAL), 90 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on October 19th, 2009
Natalie Press as Emma
Matthieu Boujenah as Henri
Hugh Bonneville as Charles Pollock
Joan Plowright as Margorie
Miles Ronayne as Thomas
Emma is a successful Wall Street trader who moves to England with her family only to find that their new home is filled with spirits. Emma is clairvoyant and plagued with visions of both the past and future. The secrets of the house play out in nightmarish visions, but something else is haunting her.
Henri (Matthieu Boujenah), Emma’s husband, is a struggling business man suffering a tough time at work, but he keeps his troubles at the office. He welcomes his wife and young step-son, Thomas (Miles Ronayne), with a surprise party and the family appears truly happy. While exploring the house, Thomas discovers a creepy doll and an imaginary friend. Emma begins seeing things and soon learns via the internet that the house was the location of multiple murders.
Knife Edge plays as a haunted-house thriller. The setup is fairly straightforward and wastes little time getting the characters to England. The main location is a fantastic mansion filled with gorgeous rooms, and the surrounding grounds provide a landscape that is both lush and at times threatening. Emma’s visions play out with stylistic beauty as images inspired by the work of Salvador Dali dance across the screen in a wondrous spectacle.
The acting is solid across the board, particularly Natalie Press as our haunted protagonist saddled with a desperate husband who is never around when needed and a brother who is all about the family trust fund. Emma’s longtime friend Charles (Hugh Bonnevile), is more reliable but, remember, this is a mystery and thus no one can be trusted. Another surprise comes with the casting of Joan Plowright (Enchanted April, Drowning By Numbers) as the nanny, a role she plays with a subtlety that is often missing from contemporary horror.
Director Anthony Hickox (Waxwork) is the son of director Douglas Hickox (Theatre of Blood) and has made a name for himself in the horror genre over the last twenty years. He disappeared for a while to make low-budget action films (including Submerged starring Steven Seagal), but has returned to the genre with an enthusiasm long absent from his recent efforts. Taking liberally from novels like The Haunting of Hill House and The Turn of the Screw as a springboard for the script he co-authored with producer Fiona Combe, the plot questions the mental stability of the protagonist in a new environment.
Knife Edge hits all the marks and includes some stunning images along the way, but unfortunately the movie suffers from forced twists in the third act that condemn the end product. Superior films like Gaslight and the works of Alfred Hitchcock, specifically Rebecca, are also highly influential in the style, but sadly there is a perilous gap between the talents of Hitchcock and Hickox.
Video and Audio:
Not reviewed as this is a screener.
Not reviewed as this is a screener.
It is nice to see Hickox reaching for elegance closer to The Others rather than Warlock 2, but the shortcomings of the material result in a less than satisfying conclusion. Knife Edge is worth seeing, but don’t go too far out of your way to check it out.
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