Surveillance (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner04/03/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

An enjoyably dark thriller with weird characters and an intriguing central mystery, though the resolution might not be to everyone's taste.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jennifer Lynch (daughter of David, returning to the director's chair after a 15 year absence), Surveillance stars Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond as Agents Sam Hallaway and Elizabeth Anderson, who arrive at an isolated police station and immediately take over the investigation of a violent roadside tragedy, much to the indignation of the local police captain (Michael Ironside) and his deadbeat deputy (Charlie Newmark). As it turns out, there are only three survivors - a weirdly calm young girl (Ryan Simpkins), a twitchy young drug addict (Pell James) and an injured police officer (Kent Harper) - but none of their stories seem to match.

The Good
The film is extremely well structured, with the different flashbacks occurring, Rashomon-style, as each survivor is interviewed and the mystery deepening further with each one. As such, it's a lot of fun trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, though there are still plenty of surprises in store.

The characters are an exceptionally weird bunch (French Stewart and Charlie Newmark make a supremely disturbing double act as the sinister cops) and this adds considerably to the tense, unpredictable atmosphere of the film. Similarly, the performances are superb, notably Bill Pullman, Pell James and the always-excellent Michael Ironside (who, fans will be pleased to know, lives up to his reputation), while Simpkins delivers an assured performance and even the normally bland Ormond ups her game a little (How come she's suddenly making movies again?).

The Bad
As enjoyably dark as it is, it's fair to say that the climax of the film won't be to everyone's taste, though fans of offbeat, twisted dramas can probably go ahead and add an extra star.

Worth seeing?
In short, Surveillance is an enjoyably dark thriller with offbeat characters, a strong script and great performances. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Surveillance (18)
Surveillance has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 17/07/2018 14:46

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