Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy's last films to be finished up after her death include a made-for-TV movie called MegaFault, a spooky sexual thriller called Across the Hall, a possession thriller called Dead Line, and Abandoned, a mind-fuck up there with Spanish Prisoner. Something Wicked is still in post-production. Here follows the thoughts I have on what I've seen.

She's got scary collagen lips and eyes bulging out of her head, likely due to drastic working out and weight loss. I like her personality; I like when she plays crazy. In MegaFault, she's a scientist with a husband and daughter who is trying to save lives from the earth's upheaval. She is convincing, but the movie is pretty typical made-for-TV.

Dead Line is a step up from the corniness of the previous title. She's a writer, not quite as convincing as an intellectual loner. But when things start repeating and when she reacts to the potential ghosts/imagined issues around her, she does well.

Across the Hall is a serious thriller, where she's a woman screwing around with the feelings and bodies of two best friends. The jump scares are conventional, but the tension that is built up is top notch. There were a few times when I actually held my breath for fear of the character appearing on screen hearing me. Total suspension of disbelief.

I am just finished watching Abandoned, where she stars with Dean Cain as a girlfriend taking her boyfriend into the hospital for orthopedic surgery. The hospital is transferring all patients over to another location for reconstruction, and somehow her boyfriend slips through the paperwork and can't be found post-op. Is she having a psychotic breakdown due to her mother's death four months ago? Is her boyfriend a figment of her imagination? Or is there something bigger going on? I was caught up in the plot twists, though we've seen them all before, because of the believable performances, well-done sound design and subtle editing. Not sure about the hair/wardrobe, which seemed a little unrealistic, and all of a sudden springing an important plot point more than half-way through the film was a jarring note, but otherwise, this is definitely worth a viewing, especially being her last role.

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