6 Souls is the latest straight-to-home-video horror film from Underworld: Awakening directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein. This long-delayed and title-changed horror mystery contains very little — if any real horror, aside from the actual thought of having to devote two hours of your life to something this mundane.
6 Souls is a painfully simple film that flat-lines before it ever really has the chance to get up off the ground. Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers give the film little support as they both struggle to stay awake long enough to read their lines. 6 Souls is just another empty thriller begging to be rented for a dollar the next time you visit your local grocery store’s Redbox kiosk.
Cara Harding (Julianne Moore) is a forensic psychiatrist that comes across a patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) with some sort of multiple personality disorder. His case is a unique one though, because his identities change to those of murder victims. This makes him unpredictable and far from safe, which means Cara is naturally more interested in unraveling the mystery, even if it means putting herself and the ones that she loves in serious (and easily avoidable) danger.
6 Souls attempts to tangle you up in its ball of mystery, but instead bores you to tears. Identity writer Michael Cooney’s script is far from polished or original. It brings not a single fresh idea to the table and instead tries to borrow directly from his previous work, without the talent behind the lens or in front of the camera to back up the concepts. Directors Marlind and Stein do fine work as journeymen simply keeping the characters in focus and the story progressing but ultimately, they can’t make up for the brutal script.
Things rarely move fast enough, but the film does move. Marling and Stein don’t necessarily ruin things, but they don’t ever attempt to try and save moments that could have otherwise worked strongly. This is almost 100% to blame on the writing, because not a single idea has any backbone or support to build from. Every single idea proposed has a hacked up feeling to it that doesn’t present itself as the least bit interesting. There reaches a point in the film where you forget the names of main characters because you just don’t give a damn about them or anything that is happening in the film.
This is a bad moment for any movie and usually one would turn to their stars to help pull the film out of the heated flames, but 6 Souls isn’t fortunate enough to have been gifted with actual invested talent. Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers barely manage to spit out their lines in between on-screen naps and most of the actual supporting work comes from people that are clearly working on another production. Half of the on-screen talent seems naturally vested in making some sort of horror drama, while the others seem to be only worried about making their most uninterested sad face to the camera.
This leaves 6 Souls lost in a world where no one cares. The story attempts a few twists and turns, but goes off the rails as the uncovered secrets prove to be nothing more than obvious shock moments that you could have guessed in your sleep. The talent behind the lens is only interested in making things visually digestible, while the talent in front of the camera doesn’t seem to care which direction the film ends up going in.
6 Souls is a train wreck of a film that should have probably remained buried deeply under a hundred other titles that have yet to see the light of day over at Anchor Bay.
Anchor Bay’s 1080p video transfer is the only saving grace of this entire disc. The disc yields a film-like presentation that mostly captures up-close detail with heightening clarity and concentration. Occasionally the film suffers from smudging and smearing, but that’s only briefly and won’t be all that noticeable for those not intentionally looking for it.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track isn’t as helpful. Dialogue is the main attraction here, while eerie surrounding ambiance is played a little too quietly on the back channels. This is a well-mixed production, but one that lacks the punch and kick needed to really hit things home.
There’s not a single special feature found on this disc.
6 Souls is exactly the kind of movie that you’ll find deeply-nestled at the bottom of the $5 dollar bin at Wal Mart in a couple of months. It’s there for a reason — it sucks. No sugar coating needed for a film that doesn’t even bother to drive the interest of its viewers past its horrible title change and awful cover art.
There was simply no effort given at any point in this production, from the writing, acting or directing. The best moments of the film do come from the directors and their ability to at least keep things in focus and on schedule, but that’s not really an achievement when directing is your paid full-time job.
This review is based on a copy of the Blu-Ray that we received for reviewing purposes.