Solace: Psychics & Serial Killers in Poorly Realised Pastiche Thriller
Abbie CornishAnthony Hopkins...
DramaMystery & Suspense
In 1 Cinema
Having spent over fifteen years being rewitten, thrown around between studios and sitting on a shelf collecting dust for two years in post-production, Solace's long path to the big-screen has certainly been an interesting one – in fact, at one point, it was picked up by Newline Cinema with the intention of rewriting it as a sequel to David Fincher’s Se7en. As is so often the case with these drawn-out projects, however, there’s a sense of impending failure – a failure which it, unfortunately, hasn’t been able to avoid.
Following the death of his daughter and the breakdown of his marriage which soon, psychic doctor John Clancy (Hopkins his usual cool-as-a-cucumber self) has isolated himself away from the word. However, his tormented seclusion is soon disrupted when former FBI colleague and friend, Joe Merriwether (Morgan), reaches out to him for help in tracking down a serial-killer played by Colin Farrell.
Though initially reluctant, Clancy soon agrees to the case and sets about to discover what the victims – who all appeared to have suffered a seemingly quiet and a painless death – have in common with each other, hoping that the answer will lead him to the killer. After coming across yet another victim, Clancy deduces that all of them were terminally ill – even though the last one wasn’t showing any symptoms – and that the only way that the killer would have known that is if he possessed certain psychic abilities himself.
Though it presents many ideas, Solace is overwrought with a very apparent need to impress with the often-distracting visuals – including the unnecessary use of shaky-cams – while the story fails to bring about the mood or suspense it needs to set its scene and tell its story. The who’s, the where’s and the how’s are not fully explored either; the killer’s motives are never fully understood, leaving the story filled with several plot holes and gaps in logic.
Despite all of that, having Hopkins on board certainly helps in giving the film some kind of magnetism and shows glimpses of Hannibal Lecter, whilst Farrell, Morgan and Cornish – the latter of whom plays Merriwether’s sceptical partner-in-crime – can't do much to elevate above the material’s mediocre and, at times, ludicrous set-up.