Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Fear Runs Deep
Actors: Ray Barrett, Stephen Grives, Susannah York, Radha Mitchell, Dominic Purcell
Director: Richard Franklin
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
After six month at sea on a solo trip around the world, Georgia Perry?s 44-foot sail boat sits idle with no wind in her sails for several days. Cabin fever sets in and the border between fact and fantasy begins to trickle ... more »
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Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 12/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A cursory glance at the DVD cover of the 2003 Radha Mitchell vehicle "Visitors" reminded me of another horror movie at sea film I saw recently: "Ghost Ship." This is not a good thing. I thought "Ghost Ship" was a horrible film that should have went down with all hands on board. Nonetheless, suckered in by the gloomy looking skull on the cover, I popped "Visitors" into the player and sat back to see what would happen. I have a thing for movies set at sea, probably because I've never visited the ocean. The idea of someone like Thor Heyerdahl zipping around the high seas on a handmade raft, or those stories about hardy sailors circumnavigating the world in a sailboat all by their lonesome, appeals to me on a fundamental level. Think of the isolation! Think of the thrilling sensation of taking on the full fury of Mother Nature all by yourself and emerging on the other side to tell the tale! You would need to be psychologically sound to embark on such a daunting journey, don't you think? Well, you need to be just as mentally sound to watch either one of these films because they both are about as interesting as a bag full of life jackets. At least "Visitors" is marginally better than "Ghost Ship."
Georgia Perry (Radha Mitchell) is a hardy sort who has spent her entire life around the water. At the beginning of the film, we learn that dear Georgia is about to set off on a solo journey around the world in her trusty little sailboat. She leaves behind her boyfriend Luke (Domenic Purcell), who will stay in radio contact with her in order to help Georgia overcome any difficulties, and her wheelchair bound father Bill (Ray Barrett). Perry's mother Carolyn (Susannah York) would probably have come down to the wharf to see her daughter off if she hadn't did herself in with razorblades some time before. So, amidst great fanfare Georgia heads off into the great wide open with only her pet cat Taco along for the ride. And she makes fruitful progress too until the wind dies out somewhere near Indonesia. Since the rules of the trip demand that she not use the onboard motor, Georgia must wait until the wind fills her sails. It's really not that big of a deal for someone used to the perils of traveling on the ocean. Georgia whiles away the days and nights sleeping, keeping the vessel afloat during a storm, and occasionally chatting with Luke and her cat (!).
Gradually, sinister incidents begin to wear our heroine down. At first, she hears strange noises. Then ominous fogs roll in and smother the boat. Even more ominous, a chance radio contact with a friend on a passing ship reveals the presence of pirates in the area as well as a warning about strange barnacles appearing on ships in the region, barnacles that Georgia notices infest her own craft. As bad as all of this sounds, it pales in comparison to the raging hallucinations Georgia experiences. She begins seeing her deceased mother and other relatives on the boat, none of whom seem very happy with the hapless sailor. Her mother shrieks, bullies, and threatens her daughter about her past, indicting Georgia for not doing what was necessary to prevent Carolyn from taking her life. As you can expect, Georgia is terrified by these encounters, but she's not willing to fire up the motor and head home. When she starts having horrible flashbacks about the past, particularly one that reveals the real reason her father is in a wheelchair, she still refuses to motor her way back to port. Even the arrival of the pirates does not break down Georgia's spirit. Eventually, Perry discovers why she's experiencing these things and takes steps to learn from them. The ending makes sense in this context.
Obviously, "Visitors" is a film about an internal and an external journey. Too bad the filmmakers couldn't decide whether to make this a straightforward horror picture or a psychological thriller. They drop hints at the former with the weird barnacles, fog, and hallucinations. Is Georgia simply imagining it all or is something supernatural going on? Should we write off her experiences as a bad case of cabin fever and be done with it? The film unfortunately never gives us a definitive answer. If anything the horrific elements seem like a giant red herring designed to throw viewers for a loop and keep us from the real meat of the story, which is the psychological dimension. "Visitors" is a film about earning one's independence, coming to terms with life's traumas, and becoming comfortable in one's own skin. When viewed in this light, the rather cryptic conclusion makes more sense, i.e. a journey to explore one's self is never over. Of course, you may ignore all of this mumbo jumbo, kick back, and enjoy Susannah York's over the top performance as the unstable Carolyn Perry. What's up with the hair? York's coif is the scariest thing in the movie! I won't even get into the telepathic cat thing. It's too much to go into here save to say it is ridiculous.
Overall, "Visitors" isn't really worth going out of your way to watch. Maybe if you stumble over it late one night on cable, but I wouldn't waste time renting it. The only people likely to pick this one up are Radha Mitchell or Susannah York completists. The sole supplements included on the disc are three trailers, one for this film, "Net Games," and "The Navigators." They should put a making of featurette on the special edition release (if it ever gets one, which I doubt) explaining what exactly the producers, director, and writers were trying to accomplish with the film. Stay away if you're looking for hardcore horror.
I liked it a whole lot better than everyone else did...
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 09/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Visitors (Richard Franklin, 2003)
This movie is getting no love at IMDB, and I'm not terribly sure why. Perhaps the raters over there are used to more highbrow fare; I watched this the week after watching Ghost Ship, and comparison between the two seems unavoidable. In every way, Visitors comes out on top.
During a round-the-world solo sailing race, Georgia Perry (Pitch Black's Radha Mitchell) runs into a calm patch (we eventually find out she's just a few days from the end of the race at this time, so she's already been at sea for roughly six months with only a cat for company). While stuck in the doldrums, Perry has to fight off a bout of isolation-induced insanity where she hallucinates visitations from important people in her life-- her dead mother (Susannah York), her ailing father (Prisoners of the Sun's Ray Barrett), and various others, while having to worry about running across a pirated tanker, and having her only contact with other humans come from radio contact with her fiancee Luke (Blade: Trinity's Dominic Purcell) and Rob (Christopher Kirby, recently seen in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith), the radioman on a freighter who are coincidentally on the same course.
Radha Mitchell is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but is one of those exceptionally talented and yet underrated actors who never seen to get nearly enough work (while Julia Roberts, at twenty million a flick, is working more than ever). It is her performance that truly carries this picture, though many of the minor cast also turn in reasonable performances (Purcell, especially, is appropriately slimy, and Susannah York delivers the kind of role that explains why she was so in demand in the seventies). The film's climax begs comparison with that of Ghost Ship, and while it's cheesy, in comparison it's wildly understated; the denouement is a tad on the "girl-power!" side, but is still thoroughly fitting.
A fun way to kill ninety minutes, and well worth it for a glimpse of Radha Mitchell's charms. *** ½"
Pretty good movie, disappointing ending
Johny Bottom | Jacksonville, NC | 01/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well here we have a psychobabble insanity movie from our good friends in Austrailia. A woman is sponsored to sail around the world by herself. A high seas cabin fever sets in and she is attacked by her dead mother (suicide)and pirates. Along for the ride are her mother's friends, a tattooed aboriginee, and her recently deceased father. Her only companion is a cat that talks back to her. Her communication with the outside world is a SAT phone and the radio. I won't give away the ending, but I was a little disappointed. It was like the director wanted to sell out and give it a wimpy 'American style chick flick ending'. As you watch this film you will notice that you spend an incredible amount of time looking at this woman's armpits and up her nostrils."
Decent movie if you can relate
Gina | PA, USA | 09/11/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"And also one of those that you have to relate to for it to make much sense.
Major spoiler so don't read further if you haven't seen the movie to form your own opinion.
It's common, if not the rule, for people who are devoid of human contact to begin making their own reality, and most of that reality will come from their past, or from things they imagine could happen. What have you done wrong, what could you have done differently, what could possibly happen if left to your wildest imagination. In a situation like this, wildest imagination is really all you have.
This is not a horror movie. It's a psychological thriller about being forced to confront your fears and deal with your own personal demons. If you have personal demons, then you will understand the movie. If you don't, then you're going to be wondering what happened even after the movie is finished.
I loved the ending. It was as it should have been."