The Living and the Dead (2006) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh House for London to find a way to pay for the medical treatments for his wife Nancy. ... Runtime: 83 mins Release Date: 23 Sep 2006
I found this film particularly painful to watch for entirely personal reasons.First, I am an ex-psych nurse. I am currently a Social Care Worker dealing with some of the worst cases around. I am also mentally ill, though not critically so. As such this film touched home on just about every level.This film is black and raw and real. The acting, especially of the son, is utterly superb very much akin to cases I have dealt with, which made the rapid descent all the more believable. I sat for a majority of the film thinking of just how easily this could really happen - and likely has happened <more>
many, many times.There is an interesting quirk of time-line throughout, which highlights the reaction of the father to the actions of the son, which at its best involves a dual view of the stairwell. I felt this was something of a pivotal point and quite superb direction. The differing states of the building itself likewise reflect the state of the mother, which is again subtle but effective.Do not expect a standard horror here. It isn't. It feels more like a snapshot of real lives and as such is vastly more effective than any straight horror flick could ever hope to be.I would urge anyone with even a passing interest in mental health to watch this film. Consider it a warning of how easily the system can fail, and consider yourself forewarned.That is all.
How can you say "pointless" or "don't watch this movie"? This is not a thriller/gore/cheap Hollywood movie! As someone very well said "A psychological study of degeneration and dependency." Ya know... something to THINK about it and not waiting to see computer generated silliness like that RING crap. I have an idea, you who think that this movie was bad: go to apple's trailers page and look for 3d Anime and/or HORROR movies like those with tons of blood and robots and puppies that kill little children no need to use your brain - is so nice and easy! and <more>
i promise you, you won't be disappointed and please stay away from the actual good movies. These days people go to the movies for totally wrong motives. So sad :
Wow, I'll have to watch it again..Horror Channel UK. (by PHASEDK)
What an extraordinary film.. made on a tight budget in an old mansion I looked it up. Fascinating.As with other reviewers I also suffer from a mental health problem, part hereditary, anxiety.. I think the first thing that grabbed me was the sons seemingly hyper active behaviour.. thats a wow to start with. What acting? Exhasting to watch let alone perform I would think. He was brilliant. I admit to 'losing' it here and there, but that makes you watch more to get a grip again. The speeded up schizo effect was so well done.. that indeed is how some unbalanced minds think.. way too <more>
fast.. confusion.. so it takes a while to realise whats going on but when Dad has to go to London, oh dear. Unlike some reviewers who tried to compare this film with a reality check, they seemed to forget the 'scenario'? There were reasons why.. I wont forget the son in a hurry, the Mother suffering the indignities, I had similar with my Mother in Hospital.. Father trying to keep a lid on it, I will say the Horror Channel put the ad breaks in good places. But.. when was it going to end. Not too long, but one wondered a couple of times, is that it. What was 'real' and what fantasy? All part of the fascination and I must catch it again. Brilliant from top to bottom. How did they shoot the 'arm' scene.. got to wait for it again.
This film disturbed the s**t out of me (by SuicideNo1)
I saw this film at Fantasia quite recently and it completely blew me away. Me and my girlfriend were gonna take in The Lost afterwards but were so exhausted that we just went an' had a few drinks afterwards. This is an extremely unusual film - about a retarded kid who looks after his really ill mom when the dad goes away on business - and incredibly bold an gutsy I think. It starts slowly using locked off wide shots, establishing characters etc, kind of like a poor man's Merchant Ivory the family in question are on their last legs and so there's next to no furniture etc , and <more>
then when you think you've got a hold on it Rumley says f**k you and takes it in a completely stylistic direction with crazy editing, music, camera etc. Initially this is quite jarring but it works within the context of the characterisation and the mental break-down that the retarded kid's going through that in the end I thought it's quite a brilliant device. Ultimately the film is a real emotional grind and deeply tragic but it tackles, albeit in an extreme, visceral way, what most of us at some time, I guess, will have to go through and that's having to look after ailing parents or relatives. There's no monsters in the closet or serial killers here, it's just a very stark consideration of the scariest thing around: the reality of death. This film disturbed the s**t out of me - and I wouldn't recommend it to the feint-hearted but definitely check it out if you're hard enough
Rumley succeeds where others fear to tread. (by rboblee-1)
Imagine a retelling of "The Shining" 1980 by Stanley Kubrick - but instead of Steven King's menacing snow storm and ghosts of the dead at the Overlook Hotel - this nuclear family is threatened by the bankruptcy of the landed aristocracy by health care, death by terminal cancer, and an over-protected adult son who is permanently child-like and requires vast infusions of anti-psychotics. Add to this helplessness, depression, anxiety, guilt, anger, and an oedipal-complex repressed by English manners, and you have the explosive makings for "The Living and the Dead" 2006 <more>
.Kubrick's famous emotional distance from the story is replaced by Rumley's intense personal need to pull the audience into the madness which modern medicine creates with false hopes and budget efficiencies, and especially, its patent inability to assist the emotional needs of both the terminal patient and their families. Rumley succeeds where others fear to tread by plunging the audience into the thick of it.
You've not seen a film like this one! If you're a strict horror fan you should love this flick. I certainly did. I thought it super horrific and, at times, suspenseful too. The fast-motion "schizophrenic" sequences were terrific, by which I mean scary as hell! The acting was brilliant. The score -or lack of it- fit perfectly. The anti-psychotic drug rituals were unnerving! I, frankly, found myself giggling at how much fun I was having!But wait a moment! A number of the user reviews herein didn't see an entertaining horror show but rather a sordid tragedy, albeit <more>
appreciating it much on that level. Such reviewers seem to want to make me feel guilty for having had so much fun with the film. Shame on me for not being compassionate regarding the mentally ill. I apologize to them. I want to help them. Here users, take these pills. Take more. The more you take the better you are. Don't worry, you cannot get sick. Why, you cannot die. See, you cannot even bleed. There swack you're not even bleeding. Stand up! I'm the Man of the House! Sawackathupps-ugga-ugga AHHHHHHHHHHH!
Unlike the previous comment er on this film, I'd have to say that I quite enjoyed the film, also saw at the RFF, when quite a few people walked out. The thing is you see is that I am film fodder, and I find many things enjoyable that bemuse the people I know. This is a film that dwells on suffering, and, knowing first hand what it is like to suffer, and be around suffering, I can honestly say that the film engages the element of undue pain very well. Sometimes within films it is necessary to linger upon things for longer than some viewers would like, and this is one of those cases. I <more>
hope that the collaborators of this film will not be forced into procrastination by the previous comment er , as I would very much like to see further works of the same mould, albeit without having to travel across the sea to view them. For most people you'll need to watch this film twice to really find the intensity that was so brilliant, there are gaps, but then again, TITANIC is the highest ever grossing film, who knows perfection?
A Completely Shattering "Realistic" Horror Film... (by cchase)
The greatest writers and filmmakers in the horror genre have one thing in common with their peers in other genres: they know that if you do nothing else, you have to tell a compelling story, with characters you can care about, whether you love them or hate them. If the story being told isn't worth crap, and you could hardly give a damn about the characters either way, then you're wasting your time and that of your audience. And sometimes, the best way to tell a horrifying, heartbreaking story is to keep it simple and keep it real.Though uncovering its many layers takes you in a <more>
downward spiral of disillusion, madness and death, Simon Rumley's THE LIVING AND THE DEAD pares down a horror tale to its very essence, like the best of Stephen King or Poe's deepest, darkest imaginings. But what makes this film all the more tragic and terrifying is that there's not a vampire, werewolf or banshee in sight. It's simply the story of a family experiencing an increasing series of emotional nuclear implosions that eventually destroys everything in its wake, leaving one survivor shattered, shaken and stripped of everything, especially his sanity.The entire story virtually never leaves its initial setting: Longleigh, a crumbling mansion located in an almost completely isolated part of the English countryside. The former Lord Donald Brocklebank Roger Lloyd Pack and his family have obviously fallen on hard times, with Donald and his wife Nancy Kate Fahy serving as the caretakers to severely mentally handicapped son James Leo Bill , who is clinically a paranoid schizophrenic with severe depression, amongst other things. Under pressure to somehow resolve the family's dire financial straits, James's parents are hard-pressed to maintain the full-time job of taking care of him, and therefore have to rely on him to look after himself and his own medications a surefire recipe for disaster. When Donald has to travel to London to settle financial affairs, he has to leave James and Nancy to fend for themselves and that's where the story takes its most harrowing turns.You're never quite sure where you are, as Rumley, mixing the most nightmarish and disturbing aspects of King's MISERY, Polanski's REPULSION and even just a bit of the surrealism of David Lynch, with references to the scarier sequences from Aronofsky's REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and Peter Greenaway's films , keeps the audience completely off-balance.We're left to try and decipher what version of the story we're watching: is it the hellish events that take place completely from James' psychotic point-of-view as he tries to "take care" of Nancy, whom he sees as violently ill and dying, and wants to prove his worth as the "man of the house", by making her well while his father's away? Or the 'other' version, where he has such free access to his medications that he alternates between over-and-under-medicating himself to the point of a psychotic break, which leads him to murderous acts he would've never considered otherwise? The only thing that is crystal clear by the end is that it doesn't matter which version of reality we've been witnessing really happened. The result is still a family tragedy, and it eventually leaves Donald, lost and broken, to suffer the saddest fate of all.Health care is a major issue that is universal, not just a grave concern here in the U.S., and writer/director Rumley has found a most novel way to present the concerns we all have in a manner that will hopefully disturb everyone enough to begin an extensive discourse about it. We're all worried about our future when it comes to our health, as well as our loved ones. Who will take care of our parents when they can no longer look after themselves? For that matter, who will look after us? What if there isn't anyone, or worst still, what if the only person we can rely on is probably the least capable of doing the job? But beyond the bracingly difficult subject matter are three tremendous performances. I seriously doubt that there are many American actors who would commit to their roles on the level that the cast has here. Kate Fahy gives an unbelievably brave performance as the "sickly" Nancy, with scenes that call for the kind of personal humiliation, violation and torture we can only hope we never come to experience. And Leo Bill might give the most nerve-wracking, wrenchingly accurate performance of a man falling over the edge into true madness as you're likely to see anywhere, in any horror movie or drama to date. Watching him, you can't help but wonder how and why he came to the state of affairs he's in by the time we first meet him, and what if anything we could do for him that would be better than his stressed-out parents can provide.And though James' deteriorating state is at the heart of the film, it's Pack's performance I identified with most, whether Rumley intended it or not. When Pack's Donald is absent, we see and feel the devastating affect it has on both his wife and son, and when he's there, we can't help but feel for him. Here is a man in his twilight years, whose dreams for a life of peaceful retirement have been forever destroyed by God-only-knows what circumstances, and now to make matters worse, finds himself in a situation where whatever he does for the good of his disintegrating family is not enough to save them from a cruel fate, so that the only peace he can find at last is in the same place where his son knew nothing but the torment of the damned.THE LIVING AND THE DEAD makes a very strong statement, and it's not for everybody. So, consider yourself forewarned, and be prepared for a thoughtful and somber evening afterward.
A very different and compelling offering (by real_hiflyer)
I thought this movie was great, A lot of people commented on it falling short of the 'horror' genre, but I don't think it was ever meant to be one. Watch it as a tragic drama, and these disappointments fade. I think Leo Bill did a fantastic job and I felt drawn into his character even further by the camera's exceptional use as he moves about the house. I don't want to spoil anything, so suffice to say it was a well acted movie with great camera-work, an exceptional cast and the overlying doom which permeated throughout the movie drew me in sometimes - enough to identify <more>
with some the universal aspects of the story and at times feel a shudder through my back, more so than any 'horror' show I've seen in the last few years.