Mildly disturbing but mostly lacking of suspense, this is a weird kind of film that has arty moments and a general substance but it feels like it could have gone deeper with the whole family drama instead of focusing on the fog filled horror it looks like.
Keen photographer and chosen lead for ‘Macbeth’ is Fay Delussey (Sophie Turner), who grows increasingly tormented by the fact someone is mimicking her when she’s not there. Her home life isn’t much better either as she’s got a very ill father (Rhys Ifans) and a mum who’s cheating on him. As the visions become more real, Fay attempts making herself different but that won’t stop the other version of her.
It looks good this film, a lot of shots are set up very nicely which give the film an agreeable atmosphere. I can describe it as a haunting quality which is also felt by the music, Michael Price’s score elevating the moody mystery of the movie. It doesn’t just look good though, there is a fine concept here, the idea of someone or something past the grave shadowing your movements and messing with your mind are dealt with in an okay manner.
Spanish born Isabel Coixet directs and writes this feature with a grip on the twin like horror, the paranoia is felt if nothing else. The parallel to Fay getting the part of Lady Macbeth and then the developing notion of madness, ghosts and death is a great touch to be honest and I liked the film for that vibe. What doesn’t work are the less than well delivered voice overs from the lead which aren’t powerful or interesting, the plot could have been masterful in a straight drama instead and for a long time you wonder what the purpose of the drama teacher is and even afterwards he doesn’t make much difference. Also, the thought of mistaken identity is all well and good but it takes perhaps a step too far with a fellow drama student deciding to transform herself like Fay just to question who could be making Fay lose it.
Sophie Turner is convincing as the emotional centrepiece, her crumbling mental state is performed very well, even if some of the dialogue she delivers in a less than immersive way. Rhys Ifans does well as the sick dad, his pure love for his daughter and what he did in the past being acted in the right way to deliver that exposition as subtly as possible. Geraldine Chaplin is a good presence as the nosy neighbour we all have had at some time, her disagreements or general moaning about the lift make the story more realistic. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a passionate man and teacher, but doesn’t sell the role as he just appears in the film spewing notes on how to act The Scottish Play.
It’s really not a bad film, it has faults and could have been more special, but a solid presence from Turner, a hazy nightmarish veneer over the narrative and some suitable music make it a lazy day watch if nothing else.