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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Lord Of Illusions (1995)

A New York private detective (Scott Bakula) visiting Los Angeles on an insurance fraud case is hired by the wife (Famke Janssen) of a renowned illusionist (Kevin O'Connor) to find out what has put her spouse into a depression. What he finds leads back to an incredible incident that occurred 13 years previously that is now coming back to destroy them all. Based on the short story THE LAST ILLUSION by Clive Barker and adapted for the screen and directed by him. I've never read any of Barker's books but I simply don't get him as a horror film maker. I don't find his films remotely frightening. His idea of horror seems to be gross outs (his films seem to love showing flesh being ripped open) and repulsion (pulling glass shards out of open wounds) rather than creating a genuine atmosphere of fear or a sense of dread like THE HAUNTING or ROSEMARY'S BABY or any Val Lewton 1940s horror. This concoction is pretty ludicrous and by the time it gets to its silly finale, you're like to be giggling rather than shivering. I felt embarrassed for Bakula and Janssen who are decent actors but O'Connor and Daniel Von Bargen (as a cult leader) are pretty sucky actors generally so I wasn't sorry for them. Thankfully, Barker hasn't directed a film since one made over 20 years ago and let's hope he keeps it that way.

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