Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Natalie Press, Hugh Bonneville, Joan Plowright, Matthieu Boujenah, Tamsin Egerton
Directed by Anthony Hickox
Distributed by E1 Entertainment
There are times when I love my job and also times when I hate it. As I’m a huge Anthony Hickox fan, no one was looking forward to his return to directing in the horror genre more than I was. This is the guy who gave us such classics as Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, Waxwork, and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth! His last genre film was Full Eclipse way back in 1993, and after sitting through Knife Edge, I almost wish it would have stayed that way.
The film tells the story of Emma (Press), a hotshot in the stock market with a sort of sixth sense in terms of when to buy and when to sell, who’s looking to get away from it all now that she’s married the man whom she loves — the very French Henri (Boujenah). Together the duo move to England with her son to start their new lives.
Upon arrival Henri surprises Emma with the news that he has bought her one of the most sprawling mansions you could ever imagine. This place is absolutely massive. But like all homes of this size, it has a history. If watching terror flicks has taught us anything at all, it’s that history, especially horrific history, has a way of repeating itself. Before you know it, Emma is hearing voices and seeing visions of a horrible murder. But is she really? Are there ghosts walking the halls at night trying to send her a message, or is it all in her head?
It’s all very familiar stuff plot-wise, but in the hands of Hickox it should be put over rather easily, no? Not really. It’s not that he doesn’t do his thing; some of Knife Edge‘s shots are nothing short of stunning, but the story and more so the cast are just not there to support them. Every line of dialogue is delivered in a manner so stilted and wooden that it’s hard to buy any of the folks in their roles at all. Especially Boujenah as the husband. As mentioned, yes, he is very French, and as as a result every line that he has sounds like he’s just delivering it without any grasp of the meaning of the words. In fact the only character in this whole movie that was truly emoting and not wooden was the house itself. Talk about irony! Kudos to the construction crew, I guess!
Then there’s the storyline. I’m not certain the word “convoluted” even covers it. Somewhere between the ninety-fifth plot twist and the seventy-eighth character turn, I found myself just not caring. During the third act reveals are shot at us in rapid fire succession without even the simplest care in the world as to whether or not they actually make sense. It’s pretty stunning, really, and a total missed opportunity.
I’m thinking the good folks over at E1 Entertainment realized this, too, as the only special feature to be found in this entire package is a trailer, which to its credit makes the movie look way better and more interesting than it is. At least someone here was doing their job other than the director.
In the end Knife Edge proved that Anthony Hickox still has some gas left in the old horror tank, but even that couldn’t stop this mostly mess of a movie from chugging along on fumes.
1 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5