Friday, February 25, 2011

Psych:9 and Hammering Away at the Night Shift: A Movie Review

*Here be some spoilers.

Director: Andrew Shortell.

Writer: Lawrence Robinson.

Psych:9 was shot in the Czech Republic and recently this film moved to DVD and Blu-ray February 22nd. This film stars Sara Foster (90210), Cary Elwes (Saw), and Michael Biehn. Released by Ghost House Underground, Psych:9 delves into the cluttered subconscious of a young woman, named Roslyn (Foster). In reality, Roslyn would be a dream client for a private psychologist, with future bills paid for years. However, this protagonist is a nightmare to those around her, as many of her co-workers and acquaintances find themselves riddled with knife, or hammer wounds.

All aboard the spoiler train; Roslyn is a damaged young woman, who is attempting to recover from deep emotional scars. Her father raped her and her mother attempted to kill her. So understandably she is not very good company for her husband, Cole (Gabriel Mann). Sexually aloof, Roslyn attempts to unravel her distress by returning to the hospital that admitted her for psychological treatment, a few years prior. Here, Roslyn would commit her second murder, with plenty more bloodshed upcoming.

Director Andrew Shortell and writer Lawrence Robinson have come up with some great psychological material here. According to Sigmund Freud, Roslyn is using many ego defence mechanisms to ward off the truth, that her parents humiliated her. She uses denial: "I did not do this," while files lay strewn and friends disappear. Later, she use projection: "my husband is the Nighthawk." The Nighthawk is the name given to an anonymous killer, who hunts, coincidentally, just outside Roslyn's workplace. Roslyn also uses displacement, by blaming the Nighthawk's murders on her husband to Detective Marling (Michael Biehn). All of these psychological approaches to distressing unconscious material help Roslyn repress the fact that she is a cold-blooded killer!

Much of the time in the film is dedicated to Roslyn talking to an imagined Dr. Clement, but there are thrilling times in darkly lit corridors and dungeony basements in Psych:9, as well! The lighting and dingy atmosphere of the sets create for an excellent horror feature, with Roslyn finding ever more clever ways to off her victims. Blood bath anyone? The set direction by Martin Kubricht is believable. His soon to be abandoned hospital is full of garbage strewn rooms, electrical convulsive therapy chairs and miles of corridors to run from hammer wielding maniacs. All of these areas provide Roslyn with the required room to do her dirty work.

Psych:9 is definitely in the genre of psychological thriller and this is a good film for those looking for some complexity and shortcomings in their villains. Full of tension, red herrings and imaginary characters, Shortell and Robinson will have most viewers second guessing until the climactic finish.

Overall: 8 out of 10 (good sets, great acting, believable, but the ending is a little rushed).

Another positive review of this title at Killer Films (Alex Scott-Webster):

Psych:9 Review

The film's fan page is here on Facebook:

Psych:9 on FB

At Amazon:

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