Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Suspended Animation


(2001) ***

Animator Tom Kempton travels to Northern Michigan with two friends for some much-needed R&R. After setting up camp to go ice fishing Tom realizes that he forgot something in his car. Leaving his friends to retrieve this item he crashes his snowmobile onto the property of two unstable sisters, Vanessa and Ann Boulette (think Gray Gardens without the Bouvier fortune). After being tricked into drinking some poisoned tea Tom awakens to find himself duct taped to a chair. It soon becomes apparent that the sisters are cannibals who consume passers-by and that Tom is marked to be their next meal. Just as Tom is about to receive a drill to the head his two friends show up and rescue him. In the aftermath Ann is dead and Vanessa escapes into the wintery hills where she is presumed to perish. Following his tribulation Tom becomes obsessed with Vanessa and sets out to make an animated film based on her life. During his research he learns that Vanessa has an illegitimate daughter, Clara, who was given up for adoption 30 years ago. Tom locates Clara and hires her to be the model for his animated film based on his ordeal with her mother and aunt. She has no idea who her mother is and Tom is reluctant to tell her until her 15-year old son Sandor, begins exhibiting signs of psychopathy.


‘Suspended Animation’ is surprisingly complex and can be distilled down to three acts. After the harrowing first act the film slows down as Tom becomes obsessed with the Boulette family history, as he tracks down information like Columbo. The second act of the film is not bad, but it is so different tonally from the first act that you might feel like you have been tricked into a bait-and-switch. The third act brings us back to the terror and violence of the opening to deliver a satisfying gut-punch. Well-acted and ultimately satisfying some might be put off by the middle third of the film but for those who stay to the end you won’t be disappointed.

6 comments:

Catfreeek said...

Sounds different and interesting, great find!

AC said...

Sounds more sophisticated than the usual fare. Glad it delivered.

Catfreeek said...

JPX I left a couple comments on the horrorthon score with corrections that need to be made.

JPX said...

Thank you for pointing those errors out, they have been fixed. If anyone else notices errors on Scorrorthon please let me know.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Good one JPX! Sounds intriguing.

Octopunk said...

Agreed! It seems rare that you find a flick about the aftermath of horror movie events (unless it's the sequel).