Immediately signalling its blend of supernatural horror and intense psychological drama, Jordan's film opens with a visually arresting, breathtaking sequence. Police divers searching for the victims of a child killer glide gracefully through the clear flood waters covering a New England town, the rooms of its abandoned buildings still intact below the surface. Above, clairvoyant children's book illustrator Claire Cooper plunges into her unconscious, delving for clues about where the killer might strike next. Sadly, this is merely the haunting overture to an essentially prosaic variation on the 'abused child grows into serial killer' plot. While Downey hams it up something rotten as bad apple Vivian, Bening's portrayal of Claire has a diamond clarity that deserve a better setting. If her illustrations for a book of Grimms' fairy tales provided a conduit for the killer to enter her mind, by descending into madness she can confront him on his home ground: in order to destroy him, she must become him. Yet for all Jordan's imaginative use of skewed nightmare logic, this is a b/w photocopy of a serial killer plot that has merely been coloured in with super-saturated dream sequences and over-elaborate art house imagery.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Bruce Robinson, Neil Jordan|
Robert Downey Jr
Prudence Wright Holmes