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Psychosis (2010)

Genres: Mystery / Horror / Thriller

Year: 2010

Country: UK

Director: Reg Traviss

Cast: Charisma Carpenter (Susan Golden), Paul Sculfor (David), Ricci Harnett (Peck), Justin Hawkins (Josh), Ty Glaser (Emily), Bernard Kay (Reverend Swan), Richard Raynesford (Charles), Sean Chapman (Detective Sergeant), Katrena Rochell (Helena), Tom Gaughan (The Maniac), Darren Bransford (Giro), Slaine Kelly (Kirsty), Josh Myers (Snake), Sarah Briggs (Jade), Alexander Ellis (Roger), Eileen Pollock (Miss Kessler), Neil McCaul (The Hunter), Al Minton (Nathan), Sybille Gebhardt (Sarah), Jennifer Akaegbu (Charles' secretary),

In 1992 a group of young Anarchists braved the snow covered wilderness to set up camp against the construction of a motorway by-pass. A terrible fate awaited them. 15 years later Susan, a successful horror novelist and sensitive soul relocates from her native California to the rural English countryside in search of peace. The newly-wed finds it in an idyllic, remote Hamlet. It is here that Susan's living nightmare unfolds. Written by Anonymous


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Reviews

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Just terrible. Bad acting, bad script, pacing was 100% predictable and there was not one cliché left uncopied. The only press this is going to get is from extraneous, irrelevant tabloid schlock. Once the film is seen by more than just the makers of the movie, its going straight to the bargin bin. There were a few redeeming special effects but tossed in but with the nonsensical storyline, it hardly saves the movie. To add a twist convincingly, you have to make us care about the protagonist, there was no one in this movie that didn't look like they just walked out of a spray tan booth and teeth whitening salon. Just aged actors who seem to think by flashing a smile and looking pretty, they can compensate for their plastic personas. Did not enjoy this one bit sad to say. Funny that almost all of the 20 something votes for this film are 10/10, wonder where that came from? I would suggest avoiding.

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Just saw this a couple of days ago, and am still wondering why this was made. First off the plot for this film could barely of filled a 10 minute short, and yet was stretched to fill the duration of this so called feature. All the layers that the director mentioned he added in the making of made no sense, didn't go anywhere and added nothing to the film. Acting was beyond poor, especially by a certain lead man. Lighting seemed flat. On the upside, some of the special effects seemed pretty well done (a fake head in particular) but are not enough to save the film.

The only interesting thing on the DVD was the making of, and interview with the cast. Maybe they should have got that guy to direct instead.

Watch at your own risk.

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'Psychosis' is an example of a movie that I'm sure read brilliantly on page. The story is there, old English house, horror writer retreat; descent into madness, at times it reminded me of the Demi Moore film 'Half Light' although that's an example of how it should be done. The setting of 'Psychosis' is spot on creating a country atmosphere similar to 'Watcher in the woods'. However hampered by wooden acting (save for its two leads) and stilted dialogue, it's hard to warm to the characters or become engaged in the story.

Charisma Carpenter and Paul Sculfor are both easy to watch and had they been given a slightly bigger budget, tweaked dialogue and better surrounding actors then this could have been a winner. There is some chilling vision in the film (notably the tent scene at the start with the man licking the feet, cryptic I know but I don't want to spoil anything) but that vision seems to fade into clichés very quickly. There is a twist, it's a small one but unique and again showed potential for something better.

I watched this because I am a Charisma Carpenter fan so to other fans out there I will say its better than Scyfy's awful 'House of Bones', so if it comes down to the two watch this one.

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EDIT- At the time I was writing I was not aware that it was in fact a "Remake" of the second story in the 1983 film "Screamtime". Therefore you can understand why I thought that it was a direct rip off of this particular movie. For your enjoyment here is my original review and feelings written before knowing it was a 'remake'::

I will keep this review short but I'm still in shock after seeing this movie. Not because it was scary, not because it shocked me, not because I was bowled over by its brilliance. No, simply because I've never shook my head in disbelief at such outright plagiarism in a movie.Clearly the Director was really really hoping that no one had ever seen the fantastic little anthology horror film "Scream time" from 1983, more specifically, the second story in this film "Dream house". Now the stories in "Scream time" are relatively short since it's an anthology movie so in order to pad out "Psychosis", the director had at least to attempt to introduce some other little elements to attempt to keep things interesting before the scene for scene stealing begins. Unfortunately these elements are dull, lots of sex which is not thrilling in the least and flat acting. The movie falls flat very quickly overall to be honest and towards the end and dotted throughout, the 'hallucinations' of Charisma Carpenter are about the most interesting thing happening. Her name is the most charismatic thing about the movie, it's never scary due to some dull direction, predictable soundtrack and characters that are never in the least bit likable at any point. It starts off initially with a "slasher film" type prologue which really does nothing for the rest of the film, only serving to confuse and then we watch as Carpenter slowly descends into the "Psychosis" of the title. On my first viewing I already picked up on how much it was stealing from the "Dream house" episode of "Scream time" to the point where I was pointing out things before they even happened. I could not believe it. The director should be rightly ridiculed for such stealing and I'm sure more and more people will pick up on this as they see it. It's a shame because movies like this will get lots of exposure and acclaim from people none the wiser where as "Scream time" remains unreleased on DVD anywhere in the world and is a far more scary and interesting little 80's film. Spoilers------ Charisma's Hallucinations are wholesale lifted from "Dream house". This will make sense if you've seen it. She constantly see's someone in black playing with a football outside in her garden but when she goes out to tell him off she's gone. 'Dream house' -The main actress constantly see's a little boy riding on a bike outside in her garden but when she goes out to tell him off she's gone. In "Psychosis" the husband calls a Psychic to the house to investigate after Charisma has complained about all the visions she's been seeing and the psychic tells Charisma that there is nothing there at all.

Almost exactly the same scene happens in 'Dream house' and the Psychic tells the husband she is possibly mad.

Towards the end, when the murders start to play out more extended, the madman stabs the victims repeatedly and at one point, charisma grabs a telephone and throws it at the vision, (the madman is strangling the victim using the telephone) which promptly vanishes. In "Dream house", the murders are playing out and the actress grabs a telephone and throws it at the vision of the man stabbing and strangling the victim with the telephone wire which promptly vanishes.

At the end, Charisma's husband (Charisma is in a mental hospital after all this) greets the "new owner" and we are introduced to the new people moving in, all of whom we've seen previously in the visions like the man playing with the football etc. The husband says goodbye and gets into his car where he has his throat slashed by the madman and goes into a fit, holding his foot down on the accelerator and the radio says that a crazed murder has escaped from a mental hospital and is on the loose. In "Dream House", exactly the same thing happens. The husband welcomes the new owners, says they hope they will be happy there and all around him, the people we have seen being murdered are working around him, like the decorator painting the window and the boy riding the bike. The husband gets into his car and is attacked from behind, has his throat slashed and goes into a fit, holding his foot down on the accelerator. The radio announces that a crazed murderer has escaped from a mental hospital and is on the loose. It's quite sad that it's so obvious really. Clearly this director though he would get away with it but I reckon it's going to come back on him at one point or another. Watch "Scream time" and the "dream house" episode if you can get a copy. It's infinitely better than this poor excuse for a copy of a movie.

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Psychosis is set in England & starts as some Eco warrior protesters set-up a campsite in the middle of the countryside just outside London where a new motorway is going to be built, that night they are all brutally killed by some local man who goes mad. Jump forward over a decade & one of the best selling crime novelists in the world Susan Golden (Charisma Carpenter) & her corporate events organiser husband David (Paul Sculfor) move into a large country mansion near the fields where the murders took place, Susan has writer's block after suffering a nervous breakdown & is feeling the pressure to finish her latest book & feels the move away from California might be beneficial. Susan starts to experience terrifying visions, violent hallucinations, disturbing dreams along with strange unnatural events & believes that her new house may be haunted. Is Susan's new home haunted? Is she having another breakdown? Are there perfectly reasonable explanations for what is happening? Or is there something much more sinister going on...

This British production was written & directed by Reg Traviss & is a feature length remake of the Dreamhouse segment from the British horror anthology film Screamtime (1986) which I have not seen so I cannot compare the two but I have to say that I was reasonably impressed by Psychosis & didn't think it was that bad at all, it's hardly any sort of masterpiece but I felt it had enough going for it to make the 90 minutes I spent watching it worthwhile. The script has me in two minds, while I liked the basic premise & I thought the final twist was particularly good & fairly unexpected it's far from perfect with the chief complaint being that it's so slow & it takes a very long time to get where it's going. The final twist does turn traditional expectation & cliché on it's head quite effectively & at the very least I was interested in where the film was going, there's a supernatural element, a hint of psychological thriller, some straight horror & even a bit of a criminal subplot which all come together reasonably well. Unfortunately I found the two main character's poorly drawn & I was never convinced at any time that they were a loving married couple, Susan is by far the more interesting & developed character of the two. I am not sure what the creepy Peck guy is all about & the scene when he first meets his new boss Susan & flashes his cock at her comes out of nowhere & is quite unsettling!

Set mainly in rural England this looks nice enough with an impressive looking stately home & some attractive scenery. There's some nudity & sex including the aforementioned cock flashing & a strange scene set in a swingers party where a man is seen lying under a clear glass table looking up & then a naked woman sit down on the table which presumably gives the guy a nice view! There are a few flashes of gore but they are few & far between, the opening sequence features several hippies with names like Snake getting killed including an axe to the head & the climax features a gory slit throat. Originally had the working title Vivid which was apparently changed because Vivid was also the name of a porn company & brought about unwanted connections & associations.

With a supposed budget of about $1,200,000 this had a modest budget but nowhere near as low as some films that are being made & getting a wide release, the production values are good & Psychosis is well made. By some strange coincidence Psychosis is actually the second Charisma Carpenter film I have seen in the past couple of days after I saw House of Bones (2011), not that I am a fan or anything but Carpenter is quite cute & doesn't look like she's approaching forty. By the way, Psychosis is far better than House of Bones & Carpenter puts in a much better performance but then there's far more to work with here than she had with the basic House of Bones which only really needed her to turn up on set & not much else.

Psychosis is not a film for everyone, the slow pace & an ending that (judging by the IMDb message board for Psychosis) not everyone seems to understand although I thought it was perfectly simple & made sense within the context of the film up to that point. It comes down to personal opinion I suppose & mine is that I quite liked Psychosis although I doubt I would ever want to see it again.

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Huge Buffy/Angel fan and watched this on the Horror Channel (wow, actual horror on the Horror Channel, rare these days) largely because Charisma Carpenter is in it (just as I only watch Gossip Girl when Michelle Tractenberg is on as Georgina). Not the best film in the world but glad I watched it. I actually met Charisma at a convention a few years back (just as beautiful and charming in real life) and seeing her hairstyle in this I realise now she was in the UK filming this at the time and had just taken the weekend off to earn herself an easy $20,000 signing 2000 autographs (including my copy of Playboy with her posing nude).

The Good; really did remind me of Hammer House of Horror and a lot of the old horror anthologies you used to get. I later learned that I was spot on, this is a remake of a segment of the 1983 horror anthology 'Screamtime'. It's shocks are very good, the violence suitably nasty and a good performance from Charisma, similar to her scenes in the Angel ep 'To Shanshu in LA' where she's losing her mind. They throw a lot of sex into the mix too, not only with the cheating husband and his scantily clad bimbos but the scene where Charisma gets drug raped by his henchman (or does she? The way she grabs his hand during their sex makes you wonder if she's actually surrendered to her dark desires and become a willing participant in her own ravishment?).

The twist in the tail is a kicker, very clever and probably what attracted everyone to a remake in the first place. I had to rewatch it a couple of times before I realised that she's being tortured not by visions of what HAS taken place as everyone thought but by premonitions of what's GOING to take place. Good news for her as it means she'll no longer be driven crazy by it once it's happened and can get out of the asylum to enjoy spending her royalties, bad news for her cheating rat husband and the poor folks who moved into their house.

The Bad; The cheapness of the production shows through in many scenes. Will we ever have an American film set in the UK where they don't drive past famous landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament? (Interesting in 'Screamtime' the sub-stories were all set in Britain but framed by a overall story set in New York to give it transatlantic appeal). Some of the acting by the supporting cast is pretty rubbish, I'm not sure what Justin Hawkins of the band The Darkness was doing in this, he's not David Bowie. It's pretty obvious from the start that the husband is trying to 'Gaslight' Charisma, he may as well have 'villain' stamped on his forehead.

So all told, enjoyable film and I'm glad I watched it. 7/10

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I really wanted to love this movie. I just can't though. For all its good intentions and all the nice ideas, it is too flawed in the end. While obviously not a big production, it does feel bad from the get go. Poor editing choices and cinematography do not help the case either. It's not badly done, but you can see that it was rushed and therefor not much care has been given to some shots and performances. There are a few occasions where Charisma seems out of it. And while some may call it a nice addition to her role it is obvious that this was not meant that way.

Charismas husband (in the movie that is) is even worse than any other player in the film. There is the gardener, but you almost don't care about his performance (especially during a dinner scene). But the husband does a good job at being bad. Which is a bad thing for the movie. The ending might feel like a saving grace (and I don't know the movie another reviewer who's ecstatic about it, raves about), but don't let that fool you.

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A serial killer unleashes his blood lust at a remote environmental-camp. Years later a horror novelist relocates to rural England and is plagued to the point of madness by horrific haunting of a massacre.

So I finally got around to watching Charisma Carpenter in "Psychosis". At first as it started out I thought maybe I had the wrong movie because it looked like a tradition psycho slasher flick however I was pleasantly surprised. After the story took off, the way that the film kept me constantly focused on the deceit of her husband, and constantly trying to figure out just what the film was about, it totally threw me for a loop with the ending. Brilliant execution of the story. This was not an easy script to keep cohesive and relatable. At any point the film could have fell apart with all the subtext and micro plots that seemed to flutter about in the telling of this story.

For the most part I felt I was watching a psychological thriller just a bit above Lifetime Movie abilities and constantly wondering what the beginning had to do with f*ckall in this movie. It kept me guessing and confused visually as to the characters that played out in the Macbeth styled dance of twisted tales of betrayal and deception. The cinematography was gritty and yet polished with its total control of the film by jumping from micro plot to micro plot. Is she crazy? Is she psychic? or is some people totally f*cking with her?! I just kept bouncing back. This turned out to be a really great film and you don't realize just how intricate and detailed the plot is until the last 15 minutes of the film and that is got me totally into the story and made me drop my jaw. The ending tied it all up so poignantly and perfectly. A great psychological profile of the depths of human psychosis.

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"Psychosis" started out well enough, but then it went downhill quite fast, crumbling into boredom and a general lack of purpose.

I am not going to even bother with the storyline here, as it was a very weak and thin storyline. The events that took place seemed irrelevant and at often incoherent.

The movie trots ahead at a very slow pace, and nothing overly interesting happens, and as such this movie is a test to get through. And I have to admit that I didn't make it through. I gave up and had to turn it off out of sheer boredom.

Although this movie was acted out by mostly people that I hadn't seen before, there was a single familiar face; Charisma Carpenter. But not even her presence in the movie was enough to keep anything in this movie afloat. Now, it is always nice to see new and unfamiliar faces, but when they have nothing proper to work with, then they are fighting a losing uphill battle.

Don't get lured in and suckered in by the DVD cover, because the movie is not even remotely anything near as interesting as the DVD cover makes it out to be. This movie was bad with a capital B. We all have different like and dislikes, and "Psychosis" surely wasn't even close to the edge of being in my liking.

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Wow. this movie is so bad it's almost epic. The acting is so dreadful that you spend the first 15 minutes wondering if it's deliberate. (It's not).

The first slash and hack scene is not only pointless but laughable - if the hippie group had been aiming for a "dirty wooden zombie" feel, they nailed it, but I am pretty sure that it wasn't deliberate. Natch! It went down hill from wooden zombie... to wallow and sink in it's own puddle of mediocrity - but at least Charisma's hair looked fabulous through out.

I kept hoping that that SOME ONE would leap out of a cupboard and slice and dice everybody involved in the making of this movie (including the script writers and special effects department) for crimes against the dramatic arts... that alone may have saved this "feature". (sigh) Do not watch this if you want horror or drama - you WILL regret the loss of the hour and a half. Once that time is gone, you can never get it back.

If you MUST watch this movie, then I would recommend a two bottle wine buffer. Was the above