6 Souls: movie review
Time Out says
“Multiple-personality syndrome does not exist,” psychiatrist Cara Harding (Julianne Moore) declares in the opening scene of Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein’s psychological thriller, explaining away the condition as a faddish diagnosis perpetuated by TV, tabloids and “ill-conceived Hollywood movies.” Treat that line as fair warning, though 6 Souls eventually reveals itself to be ill-conceived in ways unimagined even in the loopy extremes of similarly head-scratching, head-shrinking films like 2003’s Identity. Cara soon finds herself confronted by her own father (Jeffrey DeMunn), a fellow mental-health practitioner who challenges her to disprove the case of David (Jonathan Rhys Meyers)—a meek paraplegic who’s also, it would appear, an aggressive, able-bodied New Yorker named Adam. (As the title suggests, David/Adam has even more selves floating around inside him, allowing Rhys Meyers to try on different accents, each one less convincing than the last.)
The Swedish directing team shows off technical chops galore, particularly in a Steadicam shot that feels unsettling even as it cruises through a clichéd serial-killer-was-here interior seemingly left over from Seven. But ultimately, the silly material overwhelms the style, particularly in a final act involving magical hillbillies living in them thar hills—during which the movie attempts to make a serious point about the importance of faith in the midst of a lot of bad teeth, worse wigs and cheap jolts. Right.
Follow Keith Phipps on Twitter: @kphipps3000