Emma is a successful and (thanks to a trust fund) wealthy stockbroker who is happily married with a son. Her husband Andrew surprises her by buying a mansion in England so the family loads up and moves there. Once they arrive, Emma (who has demonstrated psychic abilities in the past) starts having disturbing visions about their new home. To make matters worse Andrew begins displaying hostile behavior due to the fact that his business is failing and he is in desperate need of money. As Emma’s visions get more and more violent she starts to lose her grip on reality and those around her worry that she is in danger of having a nervous breakdown. What is the real story behind the visions she’s having? Is the house haunted by a vengeful spirit? Is Andrew trying to drive her crazy so he can get his hands on her trust fund? Perhaps there is something far more sinister in the works.
I went into “Knife Edge” knowing absolutely nothing about it. At first glance I thought that it was going to be a slasher flick of some sort. With a title like that I assumed I was in for a blood-soaked good time featuring someone killing off a group of young adults in the woods or a similar setting. To my surprise the movie wasn’t anything like that and was more or less a suspense/thriller. I was disappointed at first but decided to give it a chance anyway. I’m glad I did because I found it to be suspenseful, well-done, and quite entertaining.
One of the things that made “Knife Edge” so good was the fact that it was directed and co-written by Anthony Hickox. I’ve been a fan of his work for years (“Waxwork” rules!!) and I think he is a very talented guy. I thought that this movie had a Hitchcock feel to it and there are several twists and turns that keep the viewer guessing until the end. I think that M. Night Shyamalan should probably watch “Knife Edge” and take notes so that he can see how a real twist is done.
While it isn’t what I would really call a horror film there are definitely a lot of horror elements to be found here. We have a creepy doll, a few bloody murders and more than one jump scare that took even me by surprise and kept me on my toes. I suggest you watch it with all the lights out as there is more than one occasion where something quite frightening happens without warning. If you are the type who gets your kicks from jolt scares then this movie is for you.
For the most part the acting is pretty good and the characters are likable, especially Emma (Natalie Press). She is a very believable character and I’m sure most viewers will feel for her once her world starts spiraling out of control. I also dug Andrew (Lorcan O’Toole) as well and thought that Hugh Bonneville stole the show in the role of Charles. The only person I did have a problem with was the kid that played Emma’s son. He whined way too much and I found him to be unbelievably annoying through most of the film. I really wouldn’t have minded if he’d been killed off very early in the film, at least then I wouldn’t have had to have heard him scream “Mommy! Mommy!” over and over again. I know that sounds harsh coming from me considering he’s just a kid and all, but once you see the movie and see how irritating he is I am sure you’ll agree.
While I enjoyed the movie I would be hard pressed to call if perfect as there were some things that could have been improved upon. The biggest flaw was that it moved a bit too slowly for my taste and at times it took forever for anything to happen, so we are treated to a lot of scenes in which people are just sitting around talking. I did become bored a couple of times while I was watching it and feel that there was just way too much lag time. I was also bothered by the lack of gore (we get a couple of stabbings, someone gets hit by a car and that’s it), and the ending felt really rushed for a movie that otherwise had such a slow pace. It was almost as if they got to the end and ran out of ideas (or money) and just said “OK, this is a good place to stop. Role credits!”
Though it was more than a little slow at times and there was an overall lack of violent death scenes I liked “Knife Edge” for some reason. Besides having a Hitchcock vibe to it I think it is pretty apparent that “The Shining” had a huge impact on the filmmakers (We have a kid that talks to someone no one else can see, a person who has visions, a bloody woman in a bathtub, a hedge maze, and even someone knocking a hole in the door and looking through it ala Jack Nicholson). If you are into suspense thrillers with a couple of neat twists then “Knife Edge” is for you.