Now You See It, Now Your Dead
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 11/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike many authors who show up in the horror section of the local bookstore, Clive Barker has always stood out as one of the few who is willing to step aside from the mainstream and experiment with the limits of horror. He understands that there is an architecture and symbolism to horror the must be there if the tale is to rise above the modern gore-fest. "Lord of Illusions' is a case in point.Using the character of Harry D'Amour (Scott Bakula), a slightly run down, hard-boiled, compulsively heroic private investigator, Barker turns his eye to the thin line between illusion and magic. D'Amour, who is no stranger to the touch of evil, finds himself witness to the torture and death of a fortuneteller and as a result is hired by Dorothea Swann (Famke Janssen) to look into a set of eerie circumstances involving her husband Phillip (Kevin O'Conner) who is a world famous illusionist.Just as Harry starts his investigation, Phillip Swann is killed horrifically in the middle of his act. Determined to follow through on his commitment to Dorothea the detective digs and discovers that he is surrounded by ghosts and shadows, full of false realities and illusions that can kill. At the heart is a Nix (Daniel Von Bergen), a cult leader and mage once killed by Phillip and now somehow working his way back into reality. Barker works the story in layers, using apparent illusions to step from one world into another. Nothing is quite what it seems, other than the ultimate nature of evil. Some of Barker's manipulation is blatant (his heavy use of cruciform and tarot images), at other times, it is the subtle repetition of a rune. The story is unnerving in its progress and eventually our imagination is even worse than what the film presents.Technically, the film is excellent. A great deal of attention is paid to the details of the settings, right down to carvings on table legs and scrawled messages on walls. Barker prefers a certain gritty reality that is far from the modern trend of antiseptic horror where everyone seems to take a shower between death scenes. He relies on only a bare minimum of special effects, preferring to use make-up and acting to get to make impact. The acting is uneven, but the action is compelling enough to get the viewer through the rough spots. I have seen far worse performances in films that have drawn more notice. The key extra is a running commentary by Barker, who directed as well as wrote the film. If you have missed this film and have a yen for a combination of diabolic horror and noir detective theme make a point of seeing it. I don't think you will be disappointed."
"I was born to murder the world..."
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 12/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Based on his short story "The Last Illusion", Clive Barker helmed this adaption entitled Lord of Illusions, and offers up a good amount of shocks, scares, gore, and a near excellent plot; a combination that made one of Barker's previous films, the original and classic Hellraiser, such a great horror film. Scott Bakula (TV's Quantum Leap, now he's famous for TV's Enterprise) stars as private detective Harry D'amour, and he gets involved with a bizarre case involving a magician (Kevin J. O'Connor) who years before had killed prophet and mentor Nix (played to perfection by Daniel Von Bargen). However, Nix has seemingly been resurrected, and he and his followers have plans on the destruction of the world. Just about everything about Lord of Illusions is great: the visual effects and Barker's direction and storytelling are great, but there are some plot holes and now and then some crummy acting (courtesy of the beautiful Famke Janssen), but for the most part Lord of Illusions is a great horror film from one of the great masters of horror. The film has gained quite a cult following over the years, and MGM realized this and packed the DVD with some great extras including a commentary by Barker, an isolated music score (most of the music is absolutely creepy and sets a perfect tone), and some never before seen scenes as well."
Mark | Madison, Wisconsin | 12/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really enjoyed this film. I have been wanting to purchase it for sometime and I am very glad that I finally did. It is full of suspense and has alot of plot twists in the movie as well. I did watch the special features section of "deleted scenes" and felt that there were some deleted scenes that should have stayed in the final cut of this movie. Scott Bakula was a very strong actor in this movie as well as everyone else. I highly recommend this movie for anyone that likes a "classic" horror film."
Dweet of Illusions!!!
meshuga | Kalamazoo, Michigan United States | 06/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful movie with spectacular dialouge and effects. One of the best lines written came from this movie, "I was born to murder the world." The story is amazing, but it's Cliver Barker so what do you expect. The commentary track is also informative and very cool deleted scenes are included. If you are a fan of this movie you NEED to buy it on DVD. Obviously everything is better, but you finally get a 5.1 mix, commentary, deleted scenes, WIDESCREEN, and an isolated music score. I am very pleased with this DVD and would recommend it to any Clive Barker fan. That's all I have to say about that."