Surveillance Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.0
Video 7.0
Audio 7.0
Special Features 1.0
Total 5.5
Distributor: Warner
Running Time:
Reviewer:
Jamie Kirk
Classification: R18+

8.9


Surveillance

Surveillance is the second film from Jennifer Lynch, daughter of highly acclaimed director David Lynch. Upon the release of her first film Boxing Helena, many wondered whether the genius of her father would come across in her own works, seeing as she has been an inspiration to the man himself in the past. Could Jennifer Lynch bring the same depth behind the camera? Or the same level of eccentric madness that her father had become known for? For those wondering, she couldn’t quite. Boxing Helena was a flop critically and commercially, and led to the many inevitable jokes at her expense for not being the same film maker her father is. So fifteen years later Jennifer Lynch decides to have another go, this time a murder mystery thriller with hints of Rashomon.  Can it prove the doubters wrong?

Not Really.

Surveillance is a film that has some interesting visual touches and an interesting lead performance by Bill Pullman. But it is hampered by its story, which starts out fairly interesting before shooting itself in the foot and devolving into a typical schlocky light horror movie. The story concerns three people at a small town police station. One of them is a cop, the other a drug addict, and the other a little girl. They are there because they have just witnessed a fairly horrific murder spree by two masked figures. Two FBI agents descend upon the small town to question the three witnesses, and each of their stories offer a slightly different perspective on the events that have happened.

The premise is fairly interesting, and the performances are all quite good. The aforementioned Pullman is marvellously unhinged, and French Stewart gives a noteworthy display as a sinister corrupt cop. Stewart and his partner pull off their unsettling roles really well and are the most interesting characters in the film. In fact if the film delved more into their motives it would probably be altogether more interesting. The main problem with the film is just after the halfway point. A big twist is telegraphed and carried out in a fairly dull fashion. From here the film becomes a sadistic, gory mess that is only saved by Pullman. It is here that the body count skyrockets, clunky exposition is dealt out, and ludicrous lines are spouted out of the characters mouths. This is a shame as the films sinister overtones at the beginning are quite well done. The score mixes with the languishing shots of the crime scene well, and paints an ominous picture. There are even a few accomplished “Lynchian” visual flourishes in there.

The film eventually destroys itself, and plods along to its all too obvious conclusion. The good will the film built up in its strong opening has vanished, and we are left with a stock standard horror film. Lynch came close to making a film that is suspenseful, well told, and well shot, but ended up with an incredibly mixed result. Stewart and Pullman make the film interesting, but not enough to highly recommend it. Maybe in another 15 years time Jennifer Lynch will unleash a masterpiece, and her back catalogue will be labelled misunderstood genius. For now though Surveillance is neither misunderstood, nor genius.  It’s just a run of the mill suspense flick with a crappy final act.

The disc contains no special features, apart from a theatrical trailer.






 
 



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