Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Stained (2010)

Fear 3/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 4/5
Creepiness 3/5

Stained is an effective psychological thriller that takes many twists and turns along the way. All of which leads up to one grand finale and 'reveal' which you don't see coming. If you do, I want this week's winning lottery numbers.

Isabelle is a beautiful, tall, dark haired but reserved young woman. She's a small bookstore owner and pretty much a social recluse when not at work. Despite her good looks, she'd rather have a night in with a good book and her kitty cats by her side. Even constant encouragement from one of her employees can't coax Isabelle out of her shell.

Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that she may not have had the best of home lives when she was younger. Bits and pieces of a former life are displayed, a life that was in constant fear of an abusive father figure. Along with that, we piece together nuggets of information from phone conversations she has with a close friend and it seems that a former abusive relationship and the memory of it keeps her from making connections with others, particularly men.


After constant encouragement from her work friends she gives in and agrees to go on a date with an attractive young man. The two really seem to hit it off and she even finds herself back at his apartment. However, a switch is flipped when the two become intimate and Isabelle becomes severely distressed.

She doesn't have much time to recover after this episode as her ex soon re-enters the picture. Despite the prior abusiveness, as is the case with a lot of people who just can't get away from the vicious cycle, she easily falls back into a routine with him. But eventually, abusiveness and ugliness rears it's head.


Things come to a boiling point when Isabelle slowly begins to lose her grip on reality, the constant back and forth with the former boyfriend becoming too much to bear. Further complicating matters, is his distancing of himself from her which only eggs her on even more. To top that all off, her best friend comes to her aide as clearly she is on the verge of doing something drastic. And drastic it is as we come to our horrifying conclusion. But is everything all as it seems? Was the source of her panic and paranoia really real or had it manifested in something else?

Stained is the type of film that hits you with a 90,000 lb. sledge hammer upon its conclusion. A fantastic thriller that would make Hitchcock proud. And a fine effort from first time feature length film director Karen Lam. I look forward to checking out new projects.

The film is currently available to rent via iTunes and Vudu. For more information about it, you can check out its website aqui: http://stainedmovie.com

Cortez the Killer

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