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Suspended Animation

1 rating: 5.0
A movie

Starring Alex McArthur, Laura Esterman, Sage Allen, Rebecca Harrell  Directed by John D. Hancock  Writer:  Dorothy Tristen  2001    Product Description  Animator Thomas Kempton gets more … see full wiki

Genre: Horror, Drama, Action, Adventure
Release Date: October 31, 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Suspended Animation

We're gonna get the good out of you

  • Nov 8, 2008
  • by
If you love 'B' horror flicks, and liked Stephen King's 'Misery', you will love 'Suspended Animation'. From pickled body parts to creepy characters, this is one film that surprised and entertained my seething need for good horror.

Thomas Kempton (Alex McArthur) is an Animator working on his latest animation project. He's stuck in his attempts to animate his latest female lead, to find the right sketch, the right "look" for her. Sometimes being stuck means taking a break, so Tom and his buddies take off for a fun weekend of snowmobiling. (There are some good scenes here)

Tom gets separated and, naturally, wrecks his snowmobile. He seeks help at a nearby cabin, and is greeted warmly (if not a little creepily) by Ann Boulette (Sage Allen). Ann is a large, homely woman who calls her brother to help him get his snowmobile unstuck. While serving refreshments, Ann's sister Vanessa (Laura Esterman) rises from her slumber on the couch and gives Tom a very strange peek at her questionable ballet skills. Tom decides its time to leave, but its too late. Ann drugged his refreshments, and when Tom wakes up he is duct taped to a wheelchair and destined to become dinner for the two sisters.

After stamping his forehead with a USDA stamp and showing him many of their pickled delights from the pantry, Tom figures out their intentions. He then attempts to pit the women against each other, telling them he wants to draw them and use them in his next animation series, hoping to bide time. His ploy works for a while, until the women find he is tricking them and decide to chop him up.

In the nick of time, Tom's friends arrive. Ann is eliminated, and after a very good snowmobile chase, so is Vanessa.

But wait, the movie isn't over. It's just beginning! Like many victims, Tom becomes obsessed with his ordeal, and convinced that the evil Ann and Vanessa belong in his animation script. He finds their brother Phillip (J.E. Freeman) in prison and visits him, trying to get a feel for Ann and Vanessa. (Interesting note: I thought Phillip looked way too much like Seinfeld's 'Uncle Leo', which gave me a chuckle or two)

Phillip leads Tom to Vanessa's daughter Clara Hansen (Maria Cina) and her son Sandor (Fred Meyers). It seems that Sandor was born to carry on the family tradition. ("I'm not supposed to eat this ... I'm lactose intolerant" -- The pimple popping scene is one of the grossest things I've ever seen. Forget evisceration and dismemberments, this scene is enough to make beer vomit appear a gourmet aperitif)

Tom involved Clara and Sandor in his life, using Clara as a model for his animation. Sandor's disposition worsens, but Tom simply cannot let go of his obsession with the Boulette sisters no mater what sinister things begin to happen. And yes, there's a lovely twist at the ending.

The performances were excellent in this film, particularly from Laura Esterman. From her sexy voice, bizarro ballet, and unpredictably psychotic behavior, she plays the role of Vanessa perfectly. My hat goes off to Sage Allen for her lovely neurosis, and Fred Meyers for his evil handling of his role.

What makes this film really stand out is the depth of the horror. It is horror like it should be, some things predictable and some things not, that is what keeps the blood flowing, that question of what is to come. The photography is decent (in some scenes quite good) though the FX is slightly cheesy. 'Suspended Animation' captured that 'Twilight Zone' feeling we sometimes get when meeting people, and reminds us to be careful whom we ask for help.

My only complaint is that there are no subtitles available, either for the hearing impaired or other languages. However, don't let that stop you from grabbing up this low budget horror treat. Enjoy!
Suspended Animation

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