Close Your Eyes

on April 23, 2004 by Christine James
A hypnotherapist's visions could save a little girl from a serial killer, but he holds back because his last attempt to use his gift turned tragic. It doesn't take a psychic to predict his character arc or many elements of the outcome.

Goran Visnjic ("The Deep End") is the extrasensory shrink who has moved with his wife and daughter from the U.S. to the U.K to flee his memories (and bad publicity). He has vowed to put his past behind him by restricting his practice--and his powers--to curing smokers. But a careless comment to a patient ("24 Hour Party People's" Shirley Henderson), who happens to be a police officer on the case of the Tattoo Murderer, gives her a glimpse of his true abilities, and she forcibly recruits his aid. Their task is hindered by blustery bureaucrats but aided by a nerdy arcana expert ("In America's" Paddy Considine).

Red herrings make the "Mephisto Waltz"-meets-"Being John Malkovich" storyline seem more simplistic than it is, only to pan out in developments almost as unsurprising. The film is also a few notches more grisly than feels appropriate for a dramatic thriller (versus a horror flick). Charismatic leads and the nature of the life-or-death dilemma keep the tension on, but interest is undermined by unlikely happenings, lapses in logic and glossed-over psychological repercussions that leave one more glazed than mesmerized. Starring Goran Visnjic, Shirley Henderson, Miranda Otto and Paddy Considine. Directed by Nick Willing. Written by Nick Willing and William Brookfield. Produced by Michele Camarda. A First Look release. Drama/Thriller. Rated R for violence and language. Running time: 103 min

Tags: Paddy Considine, Goran Visnjic, psychologist, family, smoking, Shirley Henderson, police, death, Miranda Otto, Nick Willing

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