Monday, November 12, 2012
I'm going to start off by saying that Robert Wise Directed this. Robert Wise of West Side Story, The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Sound of Music. A heavy hitter to be sure. And, it shows. The film is expertly crafted and that combined with the top shelf acting talents of Marsha Mason, John Beck, the young and talented Susan Swift and Sir Anthony Hopkins makes it a must see.
Audrey Rose reminded me very much of The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005). It's the story of a poor, little girl that perished in a car fire at age five. Her father, Elliot Hoover, (Hopkins) believes that she's been reincarnated as eleven year old Ivy Templeton - the daughter of Janice (Mason) and Bill (Beck) Templeton. Nightmares and wild night fits as Ivy's birthday grows near has Janice starting to believe that Elliot Hoover may be right. Things spiral out of control and the Templetons find themselves trying to hold their marriage together and their daughter alive.
And, man, John Beck is kind of an arse in this. He's scared and angry that Hopkins has entered their lives. Understandable. His world falls apart upon his arrival.
This isn't a Paranormal Activity type ghost fest. This is more of a drama. At one point, a courtroom drama. The story is fantastic and the pace of things - while very 70s - is not disruptive. It actually helps with the overall drama of the story.
Susan Swift does an amazing job as eleven year old Ivy Templeton. She was thirteen at the time and held her own among the other powerhouse stars she was acting with in Audrey Rose. Her performance is riveting and believable. Disturbing as well - as a Father, it's crushing to see what her character goes through in this film. It pained me.
So, if you're looking for something spiritual or a drama that leans towards the paranormal with some fantastic acting and story based plot (instead of effects driven), then I highly suggest that you take a moment to view Audrey Rose.
The trailer is fun, but it makes the film look more like Carrie. With films like The Sentinel, Demon Seed and the horrid Exorcist II coming out in '77, they might have been trying to get in on the horror action.