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PSYCHOSIS on DVD reviewed by John Delia

March 17th, 2011


Starring: Charisma Carpenter, Paul Sculfor and Ricci Harnett

Directed by: Reg Traviss

MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence, strong sexuality, nudity and language

Genre: Horror, suspense, thriller

Running Time: 1hr 33min

By John Delia

Although Psychosis is somewhat predictable it still deserves a watch on DVD.  The directing and cinematography make the plot work with suspense-laden scenes, extreme horror thrills and a surprising twist that comes early on in the film.  I am going to recommend the film for another big reason; the bonus feature ‘The Making of Psychosis’ is a great tool for would be actors, cinematographers and directors.

The movie centers on Susan (Charisma Carpenter) who has left the United States with her husband David (Paul Sculfor) for a retreat and rest from a psychological event that caused her to lose her mind.  The European countryside seems to her as a great place to write her second horror novel and everything is in place for it.  However, Susan starts to see visions and ghostly people that start to make an impact on her love life and threaten her psyche.

The winner here is the direction by Reg Traviss who takes the hackneyed storyline and actually makes something good happen.  He brings us close up to the action showing the brutality in sex and murder.  Much like relentless Jason in Friday the 13th, his initial killer gets wild and crazy adding a lot of terror to the film.  He bonds with the camera giving us beautiful vistas of the countryside and then splashes his beautiful canvas with blood.

One of the best finds of a ‘Making of’ as a bonus feature is on this DVD.  The interviews are extremely good and the showing of how all the horror and sex fits into the film will be a great tool for budding actors, directors and cinematographers.  The interview with cinematographer Bryan Loftus (The Company of Wolves) brings out a lot of tips on special shots and lighting value, especially in a horror flick.

The film is rated R for bloody violence, strong sexuality, nudity and language.  Be cautions as there is also a graphic rape scene midway through the film.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A good DVD for horror fans and students of film. (C+)

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