14 August 2015 | acidburn-10
Brilliant almost forgotten gem
Something I've always liked to do is look through classic horror gems, and unearth some truly forgotten gems, like this one which was hampered with controversy when released and sadly failed to make any impact. This is a shame given that this is a well and truly crafted thriller with great performances that does echo tension with the actions of the lead character.
The biggest strength relies on Martin who has an alter ego who pretends to be a simpleton, just so he can con his way into a woman's affections. Despite living a lift of wealth and good looks, his mind is anything but stable, with an overbearing mother and a down syndrome brother who is put away for just being handicapped and is more or less forgotten about, apart from by Martin, a deep hatred for his stepfather, his mind begins to shatter like a broken mirror which sends him into a spiral. It is often difficult to pull this kind of thing of convincingly, but here it is done right and slowly builds throughout the movie.
Okay this isn't a perfect movie and does have some lower points, like there is just way too much time focused on Martin's descent into madness, instead of moving along at a quicker pace, it seems that other elements of the film suffers in a way, and also the message at the beginning of the movie just contradicted the events of what happens, is also just silly. But asides from this is a really good movie with camera styles and technique that echoes Hitchcock, along with well written main characters, something that's rare these days, does make this viewing a treat.
The casting like I already said is excellent Hywel Bennett who plays Martin was the clear standout, his performance was chilly and captivating, his pleasant features and broad range are both hypnotic and terrifying. Hayley Mills who plays the female lead was also excellent and pulls off the victim angle and of course has great chemistry with the male lead. Billie Whitelaw gives a great sympathetic turn as the owner and Susan's mother, she felt very tragic as a woman whose just wants to be loved.
All in all "Twisted Nerve" is a very complex thriller that may be slow burning at times, but well worth a watch.