Monday, 29 May 2017

Eye of the Beholder (1999) - Film Review


*Originally written May 29th, 2017*

Eye of the Beholder is a film have vivid memories of from my childhood. It's one of those films I watched bits and pieces of as a very young childhood on late night TV. I'd never watched the full thing, but 10 years(ish) later, I finally tracked down "That film where Ewan McGregor has a kid with him as he watches a woman murder people".

I feel like I wasted my time trying to see this film properly for the good part of a decade. It's a very '90s and messy thriller, and it's mostly just pretty shit. A muddled mess of sex and violence that ultimately leads to nothing, a completely pointless ending that made me wonder why I bothered.

The most fun I had with this was seeing a post-Trainspotting Ewan McGregor in a fairly high-budget thriller for it's time (It flopped. Badly). He does a pretty good job as surveillance expert slowly losing his mind as he stalks and falls in love with a serial killer played by Ashley Judd, who also gives a decent performance.

This film is all over the place. For its silly premise, it takes itself far too seriously. It's one of those sleazy thrillers of the '90s in line with Basic Instinct, but lacks the impact that Instinct had. It alls feels very tame for a film about a serial killer.

McGregors' character is a scattershot mess. He has visions of his estranged daughter being with him as he slowly loses his mind. They never really explore his mentally instability much and his actions go far beyond my ability of suspension of disbelief in the latter half of the film. I have to point out McGregor's camera he uses for surveillance. It's designed to look like a rifle with trigger to take pictues, but it makes no sense and would attract more attention that necessary, especially when he leaves it on display leaning out of a window in a public area for hours at a time.

My main takeaway from Eye of the Beholder is that it has a cool premise, but its direction is pretty mediocre and lacks any unique style apart from some remarkably shit '90s designs. The perfomances are fine for the most part, but the whole films overall is just a complete mess. Sometimes digging out films you saw bits of when you were far too young for them are not worth seeking out.

4/10 Dans

Eye of the Beholder is out now on DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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