MOVIE MADNESS #151: ON THE INSIDE

Just how many prison films do we need? And can a small indie standout in the crowd? Also what is the purpose of telling this story when we have seen it all before?

Allen Meneric (Nick Stahl) is committed to a psychiatric institution for the criminally insane because of a brutal revenge murder.

There he is forced to deal with the very ill and the dangerous until, as part of a socialization program, he is transferred to minimum security where he meets Mia (Olivia Wilde), a beautiful bipolar female inmate.

Ever haunted by his past, Allen seeks his redemption when sudden events demand that he protect Mia from the violence and chaos of the institution.

The movie seems to be a commentary on what is the difference between being convicted of being criminally insane and being sentenced to a full blown prison.

Matter of a fact, the rather lazy character that Shohreh Aghdashloo plays is the one who is supposed to determine if a prisoner should be moved from the asylum to the prison.

It is interesting to see that fine line and how frustrated and lost the character is.

The movie is written and directed by actor DW Brown who began his career acting in the classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.

He really never plays with his camera and his technique is very clinical. He also never seems to push his actors.

Stahl and Wilde’s characters are supposed to represent people who slipped through the cracks in the system.

But I never felt anything for them or wanted to cheer for them. Yes they find love in this really lost and messed up world but really who cares. All these people are condemned and beyond hope.

The best performance is from Pruitt Taylor Vince as this very disturbed yet gullible inmate. You never know what he’s up to or what his angle is. Some scenes are just bizarre while others seem predictable.

The polar opposite is Dash Mihok’s character as a bully. He is extremely two-dimensional and as much time as the film spends on him you wish there was more meat there.

This is a very forgettable movie and even thebiggest fans of these actors will be bored sick.

1 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

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