Director Anthony Hickox moves away from the campy horrors he seems to thrive on with the likes of FULL ECLIPSE, HELLRAISER 3, SUNDOWN and WAXWORKS and turns his hand to the haunted house story with KNIFE EDGE.
Emma Connaught (Natalie Press) puts a career on Wall Street on hold, where her clairvoyant powers have led her to achieve some success, and returns to England with new husband, Henri (Hugh Bonneville), and 6-year old son, Thomas (Miles Ronayne).
Henri finds himself compelled to purchase Parkside Lodge, a large gothic country estate but once the family move in Emma starts to receive psychic visions of what appear to be a series of knife murders, and hears voices that seem to emanate from behind the walls. When she decides to investigate the source of the sounds, Emma discovers a secret room that holds an old locked chest whose contents hold a dark secret, and whilst researching the history of the estate on the internet internet learns that the home was once the scene of a triple murder. Meanwhile, husband Henri’s business is failing, and before long tensions between the couple build, as the family’s problems collide in the present.
Hickox steals liberally from Hitchcock with scenes that pay tribute to the likes THE BIRDS, FRENZY, MARNIE, REBECCA, SPELLBOUND and VERTIGO and accompanies them with a score reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann’s frenzied violins from PSYCHO, whilst paying tribute to the likes of George Cukor’s GASLIGHT, Robert Wise’ THE HAUNTING and Jack Clayton’s THE INNOCENTS and traditional splatter fare such as THE SHINING.
The best scenes in the movie involve Emma’s investigations in the house and woods that often erupt into surreal visions reminiscent of Salvador Dali, that include a haunting eye image, and human-like tree. Sadly, the film does seem to rely on fantastic spectacle rather than story and tension, and as a result the shock sequences are muted. The film is also let down by a rather ridiculous ending which fails to convince.
Carl T. Ford
Directed by Anthony Hickox
English Language / UK / 2007 / 91 minutes / Colour / Rated 15
Region 2 / PAL
A Scanbox DVD release
Region 2 (UK)