Sunday, October 20, 2013

6 SOULS: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein and Michael Cooney's nod to god is weird, to say the least....

This sitting-on-the-shelf-since-2010 paranormal/psycho-logical thriller begins so well that, for a time you may suspect that its pretty terrible reviews (garnering but 4% on Rotten Tomatoes) was somehow a mistake. Hold on. 6 SOULS grows worse as it goes along. Yet the performances of the ever-intelligent and forceful Julianne Moore and the lately ubiquitous and nicely versatile Jonathan Rhys Meyers, along with excellent supporting work from Francis Conroy and Jeffrey DeMunn will hold you in thrall for a surprisingly lengthy time during this finally overlong and awfully overwrought movie. That first hour, however, offers some genuinely creepy moments, along with some surprises.

Directed the Swedish duo of Måns Mårlind (below) and Björn Stein (at left) and written by Michael Cooney (of the very clever Identity), this movie comes with maybe the funniest end-credit Thank You list I've yet seen: the first name mentioned is that of GOD. Given what a loony-tune look at religion the movie provides -- it jumps from stolid Catholicism to Satan worship to pagan ritual and back -- this is something of a hoot. I mean, really -- What in the world would god, bless his heart, make of this silly movie? "Oh, my sorry children: You're at it again?"

Still, were god a fair movie critic, s/he would have to admit that the performances from all concerned are up to snuff, with some terrific and relatively subtle (for this kind of film) special effects where Mr. Rhys Meyers is concerned. Coupled to his often riveting performance, these effects can occasionally scare the pants off you. (God's pants, of course, are not removable. Don't even try.) Plot-wise, what we have here are multiple personalities dwelling within the same person. That's no surprise -- remember Sybil? -- but this time there's quite a twist. While that twist provides some jolts, it also leads to the overwrought yet tiresomely been-there/done-that resolution.

Still, the set-up is worth watching, as are the performers (that's Ms Moore with Rhys Meyers, above, and Mr. DeMunn, below), while the locations -- it was filmed in the Pittsburgh area and the hills surrounding -- provide a nice change.

6 Souls -- from RADiUS-TWC and running 112 minutes -- is available now via Netflix streaming and Amazon Instant video, and on DVD and Blu-ray.

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