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

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

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.