Suspended Animation

on October 31, 2003 by Tim Cogshell
Gather elements of "Misery" and "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane," toss in a bit of cannibalism and reverse the order of things, and you've got "Suspended Animation," a low-budget thriller with several good character actors and no stars, helmed by a veteran director with a sure hand. It's not a masterpiece, but it's effective.

Animator Thomas Kempton ("Dischord's" Alex McArthur) finds himself held captive by a couple of creepy sisters after a snowmobile accident. They plan to kill and eat him as they have several unfortunates who wandered onto their property. All of this happens early on in the film, which is actually about Kempton's obsession with tracking down the daughter of one of his captors and making a movie about the whole crazy event. In the process, he incurs the wrath of the crazy cannibal sister ("Armageddon's" Sage Allen) who got away.

Director John Hancock's long career is notable for some exceptional work on television, including episodes of "Hill Street Blues" and the mid-'80s "Twilight Zone" series, as well as in film, with features like the 1973 Robert De Niro film "Bang the Drum Slowly" and the 1971 classic horror/thriller "Let's Scare Jessica to Death." Indeed, "Suspended Animation" plays like a '70s horror film: It's very gory and no one is afraid to take it all well over the top. It's raw and simplistic, but oddly refreshing as well. There's definitely something to be said for doing it the old-school way. Starring Alex McArthur, Laura Esterman and Sage Allen. Directed and produced by John Hancock. Written by Dorothy Tristan. A First Run release. Thriller. Unrated. Running time: 114 min

Tags: Starring Alex McArthur, Laura Esterman, Sage Allen, Directed, produced by John Hancock, Written by Dorothy Tristan, First Run, thriller

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