Netflix (transfer) review: STONEHEARST ASYLUM (2014)

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These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Alright, so fun fact about me.

I LOOOOOVE Kate Beckinsale. Like…. a lot. If she’s in a movie, I want to see it. Even if the movie sucks, I know she’ll make it worth it. Dear god, that face…

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*SLAPS MYSELF!!!* I’m getting through this!! The power of Beckinsale will not compel me!!

STONEHEARST. Yeah, never heard of it before passing by it on Netflix, and this movie has quite the cast list. Beckinsale excluded, you’ve got Brendan Gleeson, Ben Kingsley, and THE Michael Caine. Of course… Kingsley’s name raised a red flag of sorts.

Ben Kingsley… in a period movie about an insane asylum… an outsider comes and disrupts the norm… crazies give warnings that this place is not what it seems… oh em gee, it’s Scorsese’s mother fuckin’ SHUTTER ISLAND!!! Yeah, this movie all of a sudden seemed like it was following the footsteps of TRANSMORPHERS and AVH: ALIEN VS. HUNTER, a knock-off of a well-known movie (granted, I didn’t think too highly of SHUTTER ISLAND), albeit with a bigger budget and a well-known and or talented cast. Then again… Caine did star in JAWS: THE REVENGE, so… what else you got?

Well, as previously mentioned, Beckinsale is a selling point for me, so regardless of whether or not it was a good movie, I was going to see it.

Starring: Kate Beckinsale (THE ONLY LIVING BOY [2017] and LOVE & FRIENDSHIP [2016]), Jim Sturgess (GEOSTORM [2017], and upcoming films LONDON FIELDS [2018] and BERLIN, I LOVE YOU [2018]), Ben Kingsley (JUNGLE BOOK [2016], THE WALK [2015], and upcoming films OPERATION FINALE [2018] and NOMIS [2018]), and Michael Caine (SHERLOCK GNOMES [2018], GOING IN STYLE [2017], NOW YOU SEE ME 2 [2016], THE LAST WITCH HUNTER [2015], and the upcoming THE KING OF THIEVES [2018])

Support: David Thewlis (WONDER WOMAN [2017], ANOMALISA [2015], and upcoming films ETERNAL BEAUTY [2019] and AVATAR 2 [2020]) and Brendan Gleeson (PADDINGTON 2 [2018], ASSASSIN’S CREED [2016], IN THE HEART OF THE SEA [2015], and the upcoming CAPTAIN MORTEN AND THE SPIDER QUEEN [2018])

Director: Brad Anderson (BEIRUT [2018])
Writer: Joe Gangemi (stuff I’ve never heard of)
Composer: John Debney (BEIRUT, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN [2017], MOTHER’S DAY [2016], and the upcoming THE BEACH BUM [2018])
Cinematographer: Thomas Yatsko (stuff I’ve never seen)
Editor: Brian Gates (editorial debut; congrats, sir)

This is my honest opinion of: STONEHEARST ASYLUM

(SUMMARY)

“An Oxford graduate takes up a job in a mental asylum, only to discover that the “revolutionary” new treatments are inhumane and that there is more going on than meets the eye.” – IMDb (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772264/?ref_=nv_sr_1)

(REVIEW)

Well… it’s not bad. I think I respect the movie more than I like it.

One element is that it doesn’t really TRY to be all that shocking; the obvious twist that you would think would be at the end is finding out that the doctors are really the patients and the doctors are really locked up in the super secret cells beneath the asylum. Nope, that’s actually the set-up. You find out that bit of information pretty early on. So the movie ends up abandoning the traditional psychological element and becomes closer to a thriller than a psychological film. So I can appreciate that it’s not treating me like a moron.

But maybe that’s why this film feels so forgettable. Because it’s not trying to be what it’s supposed to be, it’s not really trying to be anything stand-out. It’s just a safe story, making it boring, and some character choices do lack a follow-through.

***SPOILERS***

 

 

 

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For example, not long after Edward meets Eliza, she shadily tells him to just run away from the asylum and not look back. We later understand why she doesn’t just go with him because she stays for Millie. So… why not send her with him to escape? She’d be just as capable of blowing the whistle on Lamb’s cruel intentions and Eliza would be the more put-together one and just cover for their disappearances. By the time Lamb would have figured out that they were escaping to shut down this shindig, it would have been over.

 

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***END SPOILERS***

As for the performances, they’re fine. Everyone’s serviceable, but most everyone’s done better work. Beckinsale sure stands out, consistent about her character hating to be touched in any fashion, and even that has development with a satisfying resolution. Despite sharing a whole lot of screen time with Sturgess, Kingsley, and Caine, Beckinsale was clearly given the most to work with by being cast as the most complex character of the story. Fun fact, the movie was originally titled ELIZA GRAVES. It’s probably best that the title was changed due to the fact that the asylum feels like a character in itself as well and the character, Eliza, isn’t prominently shown.

I’m not too sure what else to say about the movie. I don’t hate it, but it is somewhat forgettable. A great cast to be sure, but only two actors are given anything remarkable to act with.

If you like movies about crazy people in crazy houses, this might be up your alley. But for the rest of us… yeah, stick with SHUTTER ISLAND, it’s the better film.

My honest rating for STONEHEARST ASYLUM: a weak 3/5

Well, guys, that’s all she wrote. No more “transfer” reviews. Or at least, no more that I’m willing to spend the energy on. From now on, all additional content that I post will be fresh. Thank God, if you ask me. Which… I doubt anyone was. Well, see y’all around.

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6 Replies to “Netflix (transfer) review: STONEHEARST ASYLUM (2014)”

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