It’s probably a very bad sign that I’ve heard nothing about Stonehearst Asylum despite the film starring the likes of Jim Sturgess, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley, Brendan Gleeson and Michael Caine. A cast like that usually gets a movie on my radar – but up until the trailer and poster for this upcoming thriller landed yesterday, I hadn’t heard a peep (though it is worth noting that the title was once Eliza Graves, which I had at least heard was in development with Beckinsale starring). Here’s hoping that radio silence isn’t because Millenium Entertainment is trying to bury the flick – even if the story isn’t exactly up to scratch, Stonehearst Asylum should be at least a fun chance to see Kingsley and Caine ham it up.
The trailer establishes a mysterious, almost ghostly aesthetic (à la Shutter Island) and seems to hint at an exceptionally twisty period thriller. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that the preview does give away most of Stoneheart Asylum, so if you want to go into this without knowing what’s coming, perhaps just skip over the trailer and take a look at this synopsis:
A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues, though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.
I’ve suffered through lots of terrible plotting in the Underworld franchise for a chance to see Beckinsale kick ass, so it should be interesting to see her in what looks like a more refined (at least at first) role. Stonehearst Asylum may also be worth a look for its tense atmosphere, seeing as The Call director Brad Anderson sat behind the camera. The script was written by a relative unknown named Joe Gangemi – but rest assured, there will still be plenty of chills, courtesy of horror legend Edgar Allan Poe, whose short story Gangemi based his screenplay on.
Stoneheart Asylum is getting a simultaneous theatrical and VOD release on October 24th. Whether that’s another indicator of its quality, we’ll soon find out.