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Surveillance PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sheila Seacroft   
05 01 2009

ImageDirected by Jennifer Lynch

I haven't seen such an unpleasant, misanthropic film in quite a while. Jennifer Lynch may have some of her father's dark touch, but she has none of his mystery, humour or spirit. It's totally empty, unmitigated nastiness with no purpose. Plunging us deep into an uncomfortably sadistic and nightmarish scenario, we are presented with serial killings being ‘investigated' by a loathsome band of corrupt small town cops, and I think you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Pretty much everyone is either despicable or a helpless victim. Lynch has certainly created a hellish ugly world, but even for hardcore horror addicts it lacks any kind of plausibility or rhythm, piling one nasty incident on another in gratuitous and unlikely (and ultimately tedious) fashion, while the cast supplement their meagrely drawn characters with more desperate grimacing and leering than one can easily stomach, stars Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman being no exception to this. Scene follows scene without any sense of suspense or development, and the final twist is not altogether surprising. Frankly, it' a relief to get it over with.

I may be perverse, but after a David Lynch movie I feel elated, with a renewed zest for life; after this film I felt queasy, not with the horror of the story, but at the cheapness of its world view. It's an ugly thing.

Seen at Cinema Days, Vue Cinema, Leicester, October 2008

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