DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

TRAUMA (director: Marc Evans; screenwriter: Richard Smith; cinematographer: John Mathieson; editor: Mags Arnold; music: Alex Heffes; cast: Colin Firth (Ben), Naomie Harris (Elisa), Mena Suvari (Charlotte), Dorothy Duffy (Nurse), Ken Cranham (Inspector Jackson), Brenda Fricker (Petra), Sean Harris (Roland), Tommy Flanagan (Tommy); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Lizzie Francke; 20th Century Fox; 2004-UK/Irelan/USA)

"Visually stylish chiller that falls apart because it's a mess."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Welsh filmmaker Marc Evans ("Hunky Dory"/"Patagonia"/"My Little Eye") helms this visually stylish chiller that falls apart because it's a mess. Richard Smith's screenplay is not an engaging one.

In  a London hospital Ben (Colin Firth), a former art student, wakes up after two weeks from a coma only to learn that his wife Elisa (Naomie Harris) was killed in the same car crash. The guilt-ridden survivor receives treatment again from the same shrink who treated him for trauma during his childhood. The mentally tortured Ben moves into a spacious creepy remodeled place that used to be a mental hospital and befriends his spiritualist neighbor Charlotte (Mena Suvari). Brought by Charlotte to the medium Petra (Brenda Fricker), he's informed that she feels his wife is alive.

Ben, suffering from bad visions, is questioned as a leading suspect by police Inspector Jackson (Ken Cranham) over the recent London killing of a famous pop star. During the questioning Ben loses track of reality and goes bonkers.

The thriller makes no sense and lacks gravitas. Things just don't add up. Its purposely enigmatic dialogue is a turn off.

REVIEWED ON 10/13/2015       GRADE: C

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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