Parasite Eve (1997)

  |  Drama, Horror, Romance


Parasite Eve (1997) Poster

Toshiaki Nagashima is a biologist who is doing major research on mitochondria. When his beautiful young wife is tragically involved in a car accident which leaves her brain dead, in ... See full summary »

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5.8/10
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11 November 2007 | tedg
Decomposing Meg Ryan
This is one of a class of horror films, that seems to have begun with "Eyes without a Face" (1960), then "The Brain that Wouldn't Die" 1962, followed by dozens of instances, including the "real" movie Embryo of 1976.

The form is pretty well established.

The first part features a male doctor involved in radical research. We incidentally learn of that research in offhand pseudoscience terms. The main focus of that first part is to convince us of his absolute devotion to a woman, his obsession. Its never love in the way we have it in the world, but selfish obsession built on top of movie romance. That way we tap date movies, and imply what happens in some cases after the wedding.

The second half reports on the result of this obsession applied to "keeping" his love through applying the tools of his research, and is a sort of tragedy. In all the cases I know, the results are shaped by what cinematic effects are possible at the time. So what we get is a collection of terror that depends on you shifting into movieland. The first half of the movie tricks you into that because we so readily buy into the movie romance world. One could almost say we are a world of stories that become obsessions. Then that investment we make is (with our agreement) turned on us as different cinematic horrors are brought out. Its movie-centric folding at its simplest.

How does this one do? Pretty well at the first part, I think. It takes an hour and seventeen minutes, which will probably tax your patience. But its done competently enough. The problem with any such first section is that it depends on movie clichés, because that's what movie romance is all about: here dreamy mooneyed stuff. It worked for me.

The second part didn't work. I think it was perhaps because it was so obviously a grabbag of what cheap software could do. The pseudoscience is supposed to give you a bridge, something to use as an internal excuse. But if you know anything at all, it doesn't stick here because it is so, so very bogus.

But its still instructive. Failures are as good as successes.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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