User Reviews (7)

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  • While sometimes the low budget is all too apparent, overall the film works well and has excellent moments. I thought it was chilling right from the opening scene, in which a little girl calmly murders her own mother. An excellent twist at the end really got me thinking.
  • jadebridg9 November 2003
    I thought this was a well-done film, given its limitations because of the low budget. It was well-written and well-acted (Ingrid Pitt, in particular, who chewed the scenery with relish). And I thought the ending was superb, and certainly something to ponder....I think everyone should give this movie a chance!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just one of the howlingly bad bits of dialog in this bit of forgettable Brit claptrap. The film has a promising premise: a young woman having frightening nightmares of killing her mother, and falling to her death from a clocktower, must return to an abandoned asylum where she and her sister grew up to attempt to understand what is happening to her. However, the premise quickly turns to mush as our heroine and some dopey guy we never find out much about return to the asylum.

    The director apparently feels that excessive use of blue filters will lend an ominous air to the location, but it doesn't. To make matters worse, there is a whole slew of other oddballs running around the place (the film never even tries to explain how they all got in past a locked gate and high wall and locked front door), including the murderer. In a different director's hands and with a better script, this low budget turkey might have had some really suspenseful moments. The cast is good, the setting is full of potential, but there isn't a moment of true shock or suspense to be found in this flick, just a lot of weirdness and poorly written dialog. Steffanie Pitt appears to be an able actress, but she is forced to run endlessly around the halls of the asylum and look freaked out.

    The end of the film is the real kick in the teeth when the script introduces a "surprise" killer, or is it? That's right, the film leaves you hanging, unsure of whether or not the person who seems to have been responsible for the mother's murder all those years ago, is the same person who has been bumping assorted uninteresting characters off in the present. It's all dreadfully perfunctory, as if the scriptwriter and director just couldn't figure out a decent way to get themselves out of the film and had to settle for the crap ending on display.

    For a good scary flick set in an asylum, check out Session 9.
  • Jenny (Stephanie Pitt) is having nightmares in which her mother is killed. She won't have to look far as this film also stars Stephanie's real mother Ingrid Pitt, who died this week.

    She enlists the help of her friend William (Nick Waring), and they go investigate the asylum where her father (Patrick Mower) used to work. As soon as they arrive, people start dying.

    It is filmed in a real abandoned asylum and has a really creepy feel throughout.

    Who killed her mother? We shall never know as the cast of suspects is large and even included a last minute surprise, but that is not what is important.

    A good suspenseful film.
  • This is no great film! However, as a huge fan of the British cinema of yesteryear that produced such wonderful horror/fantasy films, I am always going to have a soft spot for any similar product that manages to get made today. Well, in actual fact, British horror films seem to be having something of a renaissance at the moment. Not so much when The Asylum was made, however. Still, at least a decent cast list of familiar faces is gathered together. Some good performers, some cheesy, but all professional and familiar. Lovely to see Hammer's Ingrid Pitt, Doctor Who Colin Baker and Robin 'Confessions' Askwith. Also, Patrick Mower (post-Target, pre-Emmerdale) and Jean Boht from Scouse sit-com 'Bread'. This is quite low-budget, a little dull and confused at times but ultimately a good try. Colin Baker himself has never seen it (or at least, not up till a couple of years ago) and actually asked me if it was any good. I told him he was great and he said I'd make a good agent! Don't expect too much, just be thankful that something bridged the gap between the UK's golden horror years and the latest revival led by the likes of 'Dog Soldiers', 'Wilderness', 'The Descent' etc.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    MAJOR SPOILER (possibly) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At the end of the movie when they're discussing the real killer in the movie, was it the father, the sister, Jenny, or the priest. I've narrowed it down to it being one of them, but I'm not entirely sure who it was. Anyone have any idea? I'd appreciate the knowledge. Also, at the end when she said something like "Stop fighting. We all have to cooperate here now." (Probably not exact quote.) Was she implying that they were all going to have to live together in the asylum now or what? Another thing is that this whole asylum idea makes it seem like Gothika tried to rip off a bit of the idea. Overall, I didn't really care for the movie, the only reason I'm commenting is because I'm just not sure about a lot things they said and did.
  • While this film will not change the world, it must be said that for fans of 1960's and 70's British psychological horror/thrillers it should give them a warm glow of recognition. The plot itself owes a little to Deep Red but the overriding feeling is of being transported back 35 years to when the UK could produce this type of movie effortlessly every week.

    The Asylum's main draw card is of course, its cast. Two Pitts for your money (including Ingrid, chewing up the scenery as usual, but making it work to the film's advantage)Patrick Mower (excellent performance) and the legend that is Robin Askwith. The director, John Stewart, assures us that the cast were picked on merit, rather than reputation. However, a quick look at his influences (The Sorcerers, Witchfinder General) would indicate that it was all too much of a coincidence. Add a former Doctor Who in a lively cameo and what are you waiting for?

    If you love the type of film described, and want to have it confirmed that England can still make these films well then I am preaching to the converted. If you aren't then give this a try. I hope you are pleasantly surprised...