Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jennifer Nichole Porter, Eric Schweig, Brian McCardie, Jonelle Allen, Nancy Davis
Director: Dana Packard
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
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Tension-filled film that unites the real, the psychological,
Mary Whipple | New England | 04/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Combining the psychological torments of Lila, a young agoraphobic woman, with symbols suggesting the fall of man, director Dana Packard presents a beautifully paced and photographed thriller in which Lila's world, already limited to the confines of her house, is threatened still further by the arrival of a stranger, Mr. Barrington. At first, the mysterious Mr. Barrington, who wears a bowler hat, formal dark clothing, and spats as he rides his velocipede, appears to be a kooky but friendly neighbor, but his increasingly personal questions soon become intrusive, and in succeeding visits, he becomes much more threatening. Lila's saintly husband Samuel tries to keep Lila on an even keel, emotionally, until in a grand climax the battle for Lila's heart and mind reaches its peak.
Lila, beautifully portrayed by talented Jennifer Nichole Porter, who also wrote the screenplay and the hauntingly romantic piano score, is a stunningly sympathetic, wounded soul. Eric Schweig, as Samuel, grounds the film. He is big, caring, and devoted to helping Lila, and he fills the screen with his solid presence. Brian McCardie, a Scottish actor, is brilliant as the brittle Mr. Barrington, a man who exerts control over Lila as he metamorphoses from cheerful eccentric to devil incarnate, and by the end of the film, even his ears look pointed as he flits in and out of the house.
Gorgeous cinematography (Eric J. Goldstein), with many "foggy" scenes emphasizing Lila's separation from reality, enhances the film and creates symbolism from the opening scene. Throughout the film, the front gate and house doors open and close, often mysteriously, as Lila's self-isolation is threatened. Mr. Barrington first arrives at a closed gate at the entrance to Lila's antique house, but there is, significantly, no fence around Lila's yard. Samuel is frequently shown in doorways at the end of long hallways, and as he determines to discover the horrors in Lila's background, the film flashes back to scenes of her life in an orphanage and to the events from her early childhood in which the open and closed doors are also symbolic. The apple, the fruit of knowledge, is Lila's favorite snack, and it is impossible not to associate her traumas and the climax with the struggle for the soul of man.
Though this is a low-budget, independent film, the acting, the photography, and the direction are top quality. Occasionally, however, the sound has background static, and telephone conversations and whispering are sometimes difficult to understand. A suspenseful psychological thriller which rewards the viewer's careful attention to detail (including the reference to the William Butler Yeats poem "Her Anxiety"), this is a fine film by a highly talented young crew. (4.5 stars) n Mary Whipple
Rie Vermillion | 03/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this movie!! It was unique, thought-provoking, and beautifully directed. Jennifer Nichole Porter stars as Lila, a beautiful housewife and poet who is agoraphobic and haunted by her past. Her husband, Samuel, played very nicely by Eric Schweig, is supportive of Lila, but determined to discover the secrets of her past. Lila is visited, during her times alone, by a strange man (Brian McArdie) who arrives on an old fashioned bicycle complete with bowler hat and Scottish accent. McCardie as Barrington is wonderfully disturbing and eerily elegant when we first meet him, but he decompensates quickly into a dangerous presence as the plot unfolds. Barrington gives us insight to Lila's past as does Samuel as he experiences flashbacks and decides to investigate on his own at the orphanage where Lila was raised by nuns.
The direction by Dana Packard is superb as the dialogue is effectively sparing(with the exception of Barrington). This increases the suspense. I found myself holding my breath more than once!
The musical score (Jennifer Porter) that accompanies Barrington is a brilliant device that made me grip my seat more tightly each time I heard it.
This film is full of symbolism and foreshadowing - I believe all are intended! It provided for a fun discussion afterwards, which is what I believe to be the mark of a great movie!!
Interesting and different
Ann L. Hamil | Redding, Ca. USA | 01/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found this film to be pretty good in spite of being just a little slow getting to the point.
It was a little different in that it built the story slowly and carefully but for me it fell short in the end because it didn't comepletely answer why the wife developed this manafestation. There was a hint of parental abuse but not why she would suddenly develop bruises on her body.
Still, I enjoyed the film and would recommend it to anyone who wants to see something that doesn't rely on car crashes or blood and guts for entertainment."