Asylum Review

Asylum film still

Score

Asylum fails as a film; a two-part mini-drama for TV would have been much more fitting.

Anyone arriving at Asylum geared up for 90 minutes of flinching and gasping needn't worry. Despite attempts to create a sinister setting in a secluded 1950s mental asylum (urgent footsteps and distant wails on long bleak corridors), the film is never more than a string of dull incidents and stilted conversations.

Max Raphael (Hugh Bonneville) arrives at a suitably uninviting granite fortress as the new deputy superintendent with his wife Stella (Natasha Richardson). The oppressive atmosphere induces Stella to embark on an affair with Edgar (Marton Csokas), a burly, sultry patient. Max’s colleague, Dr Cleave’s (Ian McKellen) warnings to Stella against the affair are futile and they give in to passion and self-absorption.

Asylum fails as a film; a two-part mini-drama for TV would have been much more fitting.

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