Suspended Animation

"Good"

Suspended Animation Review


Here's a weird little item. Somewhere between a nighttime soap opera and an EC Horror comic book is Suspended Animation. Hollywood animator Tom Kempton (Alex McArthur) is accosted by some psychopathic women on a snowmobile trip, and given some Misery-style torture by the old crones (played by Laura Esterman and Sage Allen, making for a pair of spooky sisters). Those who think they might have fallen into a B-version of Stephen King's popular novel might not enjoy the opening third, which is as familiar as Kathy Bates's mallet. But they're advised to stick with it. Suspended Animation isn't content to play itself out as a ham-fisted rip-off. (Those who plan on seeing the movie should know that the whacked-out twists in the narrative are pretty much the entire pleasure of Suspended Animation, and are advised to check out of this review now.)

Still here? I thought so. Suspended Animation quickly dispenses with the kidnapped author premise, as Tom's friends sweep in for a daring rescue and a bloody snowmobile chase quickly follows. Just as I predicted the opening of the movie as a pale rip-off of Misery, I now thought it was going to be a girl hunter version of Deliverance. Not so. Again, Suspended Animation jets through this section with economy and an appropriate level of menace. Unlike most low budget thrillers that dawdle their way through 90 minutes, Suspended Animation briskly covers that territory in less than half of its entire running time (a surprisingly fast two hours).

Tom survives, though he's not exactly on an even keel. He can't get his capture out of his mind, despite the fact that the evil sisters were left for dead. He plans a cathartic animation show to work out his trauma, and for his subject he selects one of their long lost daughters. Madness and psycho-drama ensues, involving a serial killing child, a hidden body, a back-from-the-dead killer, and other jack-in-the-box tropes of the genre. Suspended Animation drifts from thriller to horror to mystery to melodrama in fell swoops, even as the dialogue feels like so much deadweight and the directorial approach (from Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971) filmmaker John D. Hancock) is functional at best, hack at worst.

Suspended Animation is a cheap funhouse ride, but it's more inventively gross than the why-bother remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more moment-to-moment funny in its endearing corniness than Scary Movie 3's self-congratulatory flatulence. Gotta love that leering shot of a boy popping a back pimple, though -- moments like that will make the hardest heart squeal. Suspended Animation is cheap and disposable trash, but it's fun trash. As Pauline Kael said in one of her more lucid moments, most cinema is trash, and if we can't appreciate good trash why even bother going to the movies?



Suspended Animation

Facts and Figures

Run time: 114 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 25th December 2001

Distributed by: First Run Features

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: John D. Hancock

Producer: John D. Hancock, Robert J. Hiler

Starring: as Tom Kempton, Rebecca Harrell Tickell as Hilary Kempton, as Vanessa Boulette, as Ann Boulette, as Sandor Hansen, as Jack Starr (as Dan Riordan), as Cliff Modjeska, as Clara Hansen, as Philip Boulette, Sean Patrick Murphy as Fred Phelps, Daniel Mooney as Arnold Mann, Gary J. Mion as Sheriff Montaigne

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.