starring Alison Elliot, Jared Harris, Chrisotper Walken, Louis Smith and Rachel O’Rourke
written and directd by Michael Almereyd
Christopher Walken has a reputation for playing bad guys. He is supposed to be some kind of sinister, evil genius character. But I never understood that, because he always annoys me. Too thin and reedy, he doesn’t make me shiver. And form the video previews for Mobius that I saw while watching other movies on video this is certainly presented as a spine-chiller. Hoping that it was, I looked forward to seeing it. But I was disappointed.
In their attempts to kill the risen zombie, the main characters try shooting, stabbing, burning and electrocuting. A good mix, but they all fail. The witch is like Rasputin!
Mobius is a joint American-Irish movie, filmed in Ireland. The scenery is brilliant. The British Islesalways look so delicious and green, and even though its large cities are just like large cities everywhere, the countryside has a quaint beauty and eeriness to it. The narrator of the story, a girl named Alice (Rachel O’Rourke), says something about Ireland that is my favorite line from the film: “... it was raining, or it was about to rain, or it just finished raining that’s how it is here.” The British Isleshave a reputation for precipitation.
Whenever I see movies with shots of rural Britain in them I keep thinking of the movie American Werewolf in Londonand the pub balled The Slaughtered Lamb. That’s what I mean by “eeriness.”
For me the Irish contribution does not add much to the movie. The Irish are notorious drunkards. It’s a very unfortunate image, of course, but it does not stop them from using it for profit, which is what is going on in this movie. Nora and Jim (Alison Elliot and Jared Harris) are two alcoholic Irish living in America. They return for a visit to the home country with their son, Jimmy, to dry out while visiting Nora’s eccentric uncle who lives in a haunted mansion on a cliff overlooking the sea, played by Walken.
Walken has the mummified body of an ancient Celtic witch that he dig up out of the peat of the nearby bog, resting in his basement. The story is that after Nora and her family arrive the witch comes back to life. She is a shape-shifter who can change her body to take on different appearances. Now that she has come back to life she is looking for a new soul to fill her body while at the same tine changing to look like Nora herself. Sort of like The Body Snatchers, I guess.
All the elements are here for a scary movie: a scary house; a scary place; flickering lights; peeling paint; neglected gardens; magi; transmigration of the soul; shape-shifters; and, witchcraft, violence and death. But writer/director Michael Almereyda doesn’t pull it off. Instead of being scared all I got was 90-minutes of stupid drunkenness and drunken antics. Jim regales us with such drunken nonsense as,“To explode or implode, that is the question.”
In their attempts to kill the risen zombie, the main characters try shooting, stabbing, burning and electrocuting. A good mix, but they all fail. The witch is like Rasputin! Maybe they should have tried feeding it some of their own whiskey. After all, it works for Nora and Jim, so why not a two thousand year old angry witch as well?
Somebody ought to be able to take this movie, add the words “It was a dark and stormy night” to the beginning, and edit it into a classic modern horror. But not this time.