HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: 6 Souls
HTS Overall Score:61
Being stuck in development hell for almost a decade, “6 Souls” was named, renamed, produced, polished, and then left in the back room and finished for 3 years before it was tossed onto the home video format. The original name seems to have a more solid link to the plotline (Shelter), vs. the rather confusing “6 Souls” that the film ended up with. Penned by the same writer as “Identity” you seem slight similarity in the way the film runs its course, but it’s such a hodgepodge of genres that it’s in a league all its own.
Cara Harding (Julianne Moore) is a single mother and Psychiatrist, taking care of her little girl while still holding on to the remnants of her life. One day she gets a call from her Psychiatrist father (Jeffrey DeMunn) regarding a new patient that she might find interesting. This patient (Jonathon Rhys Meyers) seems rather unassuming and harmless. Cara interviews him as David Bernburg, a wheel chair bound country boy. To spice up the mix Cara’s father makes a phone call to David only to have that phone call trigger a complete switch of personality. Now Cara’s talking to Adam, a strong willed person who doesn’t need a wheelchair and carries eye stigmatisms that can’t be shared by the other personality.
Thinking that her father’s trying to pull the wool over her eyes she delves into Adam and David’s past, only to find out that both boys died YEARS ago as murder victims. Not only that, but there seems to be more personality’s trapped in David’s body. As each of these personalities come to light there seems to be a common thread running throughout all of the victims stories. They remember a dark and foreboding character coming for them during their end moments. Struggling to reconcile her clinical mind with the supernatural elements, Cara finally makes it to the back woods of David’s childhood where the local folks still believe in the ancient mystical arts that have been handed from generation to generation and there she must face the evil that has haunted this case and these victims for so long.
“6 Souls” actually has a pretty unique and intriguing plot from beginning till just before the end. The movie runs along at a smooth pace and had me really sucked into the storyline. The mishmash of genres and feels to the movie actually works for it and gives it a certain charm. The real failure of this movie is what happens to so many horror movies, but on an exponentially bigger level. The film fails to answer the question “why”. “Why” does the villain do what he’s doing the whole movie? What is his motivations? “6 Souls” drives you right up to edge of the cliff and then just tosses the viewer off the cliff and expects him to figure out the motivations on his own. I was surprised with such good actors involved too. Jonathon Rhys Meyers was a standout performer here, switching from character to character at a moment’s notice and totally selling the theory that he’s switching actually people inside of him. Julianne Moore is a bit catatonic the whole film, but Jeffrey DeMunn eats up every minute of screen time he’s in. Frustratingly this shouldn’t have been the case, the writers had a GREAT concept, had a good, solid pace for the film and then just literally dive bombed the film into the ground with a non ending. The long and the short it is, a good actor can’t save a jumbled and truncated script.
Rated R for violent content, disturbing images and terror
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=11971[/img]As with the film itself the 2.35:1 AVC encode is just above average. The picture carries a very solid amount of detail and even the long shots look pretty good. There’s a slight film of softness over the picture and that tends to drag the detail down from phenomenal to just above average. Facial detail is a bit better, but still nothing that’s going to make you marvel in awe. Black levels are decent and inky for the most part, but there is a bit of washed out blacks going on here and that tends to make the dark scenes look a bit grey at times. As a result shadow detail can be lost at times. The film is VERY dark and tends to have that grey tinge applied for most of the film. Colors are a bit muted at times and sticks to a rather grungy yellow and blue look for the majority of the movie. Overall it’s not a bad transfer, but due to the low budget and dark filming it can be a bit bland for those of us who want demo worthy film transfers.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=11970[/img]Being a mainly dialogue driven movie “6 Souls” is just a bit front loaded and that tends to be a little less immersive than I would have hoped for. Dialogue itself is VERY well done, locked in the center and very crisp and clean. Dynamic range was very smooth and balanced, no wildly shifting “jump scares” that over power the other effects. That right there actually was part of the issue I had with the audio track, for a film that relies on ambience and startling situations the surround channels just weren’t as active as one would have hoped for. They were definitely used, but it was more of a rarity, rather than an enveloping use of them. LFE was mild for the most part, but there were a couple scenes where my subs leaped to life for a few minutes. During those scenes the bass was tight and clean, with no “horror movie” distortion. A decent track, it does the job and doesn’t have any really major faults, just nothing to show off to your neighbors.
As someone who likes to find the good in every film, this was a frustrating ride. As fun as the first portion of the film was, the lack of explanation and sharp turn of events at the ending soured the experience. Especially frustrating was watching how interesting the majority of the film was only to see the contrast of the last act. Add mediocre video and audio scores to the mix with ZERO extras and I’d have to say that this is a rental at best. One of those movies that works well if you’re bored and it’s on Netflix.
Starring: Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jeffrey DeMunn
Directed by: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Written by: Michael Cooney
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Studio: Starz/Anchor Bay
Runtime: 112 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 2nd, 2013
Buy 6 Souls Blu-ray on Amazon
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