Thora Birch... Ever since The Hole I've got excited every time I hear of a film she is in. That excitement has begun to diminish as I have frequently been disappointed. I have to be honest here, I'm not entirely sure what I think about this one. I am certain however, that I was entirely confused by this film. Right up until the last 30 seconds, then I was like, Oh yeah, I get it, kinda... I felt it important to include spoilers in this review.
In this film we have 2 Thora Birch's, namely Susan (blonde Birch) and Karen (brunette Birch). We start with Karen. She wakes up in a grotty bedroom, goes to the bathroom and finds she has blood and cuts on her hands and face. She has no recollection of what's happened to her. We quickly realise she has a pretty worthless life, possibly attempting to reinforce the 'blondes have more fun' theory, meh.
Karen arrives late to work at the funeral parlour and we meet her boss, one of the most entertaining characters in the film. He munches through crisps while sewing together some dead guy's mouth, telling the story of how his twin brother died the eve of their 12th birthday and how he was glad to get his presents.
Then we meet Susan, whose life is totally different. She is happy and settled. She wakes suddenly as if from a nightmare. And she really was having a nightmare, about Karen's life. And Karen is, about Susan's life, if in a very skewed way. Susan's nightmares are of Karen experiencing a 'monster', visiting her at night, inflicting violence and rape and making her pregnant while she is unconscious. Karen dreams of Susan's IVF treatment but interprets it as her being violated.
Susan visits a hypnotist, Dr Woodleigh, to help her with her nightmares played by our very own Toby Stephens. He is a sinister character and is responsible for one of the more memorable lines in the film while Susan is out of earshot, "you ungrateful fucking cunt" in a terrifying distorted voice. Not the most shocking moment. That goes to Karen enduring an abortion at the hands of the monster. As each of their dreams become more blurred and characters appear in both of their lives we start to see Karen is actually Dr Woodleigh. He kills Susan and her husband walks in, understandably loses it and beats him to a pulp, hence the blood on Karen's face...
The background character really are creepy and exactly the kind of people you have in your nightmares. Big bold features and sideways stares.
"Hell is having your sins served up to you in an endless loop of torture."