Amnesiac: Violent & Atmospheric Pastiche Thriller Fails to Excite
Kate BosworthWes Bentley
In 1 Cinema
Bearing strong resemblances to Stephen King’s undeniably terrifying 1990’s thriller, Misery- minus Kathy Bates and its unnerving energy, of course – Michael Polish’s Amnesiac – written by Amy Kolquist and Mike Lee – fails to deliver the goods, falling short of the thrills needed to keep audiences on its toes.
Amnesiac introduces Man (Bentley) – who remains unnamed throughout the proceedings along with the rest of the cast – who has just woken up from a coma, finding himself bed-bound in an unfamiliar home with no memory of how he got there. He is soon greeted by Woman (Bosworth), who informs him that she is his wife and that she is there to nurse him back to health.
Uncertain about her intentions, Man soon begins to be haunted by a series of flashbacks which take him back to a time just before the car accident occurred where he sees the face of a mysterious little girl (Keegan) sitting in the back seat. While he works hard to put the pieces of his fragmented memory back into place, his ‘wife’ starts acting strangely and even tries to rekindle their ‘marriage’ via strange acts of seduction.
While it might be fun to watch Bosworth play the role of a bizarre-looking, creepily serene and a psychotic woman who spends most of her time looking dazed whilst blurting out random trivia, there just isn’t enough personality or character to the rest of the story to keep viewers engaged. Sombre and with a handful of moments of violence and gore, the biggest problem with Amnesiac is that it lacks depth. The film doesn’t really explore its character’s motivations or impulses, which is particularly puzzling when it comes to Bosworth’s character; her inexplicable behaviour is never explained, leaving the film and its overall impact with an underwhelming sense of incompletion.
As hard as he might have tried, Bentley is no James Caan – that’s not to say the Bosworth came anywhere near the greatness of one Kathy Bates, wither – and his bedridden moments of pure despair fail to really pull you into his predicament, leaving us with very little reason to care for his wellbeing.
Much like the film itself, he’s indistinctive as a character and a little too forgettable as the protagonist of the piece. The set-up is there – man wakes up to a life he knows nothing about and subsequently falls into a rabbit hole of lies and truths – but the execution and overall innovation just isn’t there.