Saturday, September 5, 2015

Memory (2006) review


   Memory is probably one of the most underrated horror movies of its kind. Stellar acting, an enthralling mystery, and some truly creepy imagery kept this semi-confusing and somewhat slow movie afloat. It's a poor man's psychological thriller at best.

PLOT: After accidentally ingesting a hallucinogenic powder being tested on lab rats, Dr. Taylor Briggs (Billy Zane) starts to have strange daydreams, lining up with real murders and tragedies that happened before he was born. After some intense research, things start to get more and more peculiar as Taylor starts to think he's witnessing the past of one of his relatives. Everyone begins to think he's gone crazy, except his lover, artist Stephanie (Tricia Helfer), his mother, Carol (Ann-Margret), and his father-in-law, Max (Dennis Hopper). However, as Taylor and Stephanie start getting to the bottom of these weird visions, they start to notice it may be the missing link in Taylor's family timeline. The plot is essentially a combination of the premise of Altered States and the mechanics of Memento. The plot, at its bare bones, is preposterous and confusing, but by the end of the movie, you'll be impressed to see how they pulled it off. The moments of horror are filmed excellently and the writers, though they got carried away, succeeded in tying up all loose ends.

ACTING: The performances in this movie are very well done. Billy Zane does justice to the part of frantic Dr. Briggs, Tricia Hefler does a great job as the "sidekick", Stephanie. Dennis Hopper and Ann-Margret did an excellent job as the parents, especially Ann-Margret near the end. Everyone does a pretty great job with their parts.

SCORE: The score and soundtrack definitely has potential. The main theme is pretty haunting yet simple, and the alternative soundtrack almost enhances the movie.

OTHER CONTENT: Memory is basically an expected disaster turned good. The movie has its faults, like a preposterous mystery, unnecessary side-conversations, and several confusing turns of events. As evidence is tossed at us and pieced together, the mystery becomes more and more confusing, but just as much enthralling. The victory in this movie is that it succeeded in pulling off a mystery so unrealistic. If the unintentionally-good mystery isn't enough to save this movie, then the horror scenes will. The horror sequences, especially near the movie's finale, are expertly done and very well filmed. I would believe them to be the best sequences in the movie. They're memorable and very unsettling, both respectable factors for a true horror.

   Memory would probably be the biggest expected disaster that somehow saved itself. It may be preposterous, confusing, and unnecessary at times, but it saves itself by sucking you into the mystery and chilling you with the sequences of horror. Most horror fans may end up despising the movie, but I think it's an underrated gem of modern independent horror.

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