For the next 31 days, we here at Adamantium Bullet will be reviewing one horror flick a day leading up to Halloween. Each one will be horrific, terrifying, chilling, pulse-pounding, or flat-out awful. All endured in honor of the season. Expect SPOILERS. Welcome to Adamantium Bullet’s 31 DAYS OF HORROR.
PLOT: A psychic (Anthony Hopkins) works with two FBI agents (Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Abbie Cornish) in order to hunt down a serial killer (Colin Farrell).
BODY COUNT: 17 …but more like 86 depending on what your stance is concerning off-screen kills. If you count off-screen, only referenced to in passing kills, there are 69 of those. Seven local, sixty-two national. Serial killer Charles Ambrose (Colin Farrell) casts his net wide, if you know we mean. As far as the legit on-screen kills - either real or foreseen via psychic vision – go, the list is as follows: Charles stabs Peter (Richard Bristow), Robert (Austin Huffmaster), Victoria (Luisa Moraes), and Ethel all in the back of the neck in "reality", and he shoots Katherine (Abbie Cornish), 2 rando cops, and a waitress (Tara Arroyave) in "visions". Because of the psychic subject matter of the story, Victoria scores a rare “double death” when she her wrists during one of the visions. Sub-Killer Linus (Joshua Close) kills a woman off-screen and splatters her remains all over an abandoned warehouse, “vision” kills Joe (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), “vision” shoots John (Anthony Hopkins) in the head, actually shoots a random passerby, and ultimately Joe, who ends up in the hospital and dies of the stage 4 cancer he was keeping secret from everyone. Katherine puts two bullets in Linus center mass, and John puts one in Charles, MATRIX-style, before revealing to the audience he mercy killed his own daughter who was suffering from leukemia.
MOST MEMORABLE KILL: While not particularly gory, John taking down Charles with a single slo-mo bullet was pretty satisfying.
NAKEDNESS: Luisa Moraes goes fully nude in one of John’s trippy visions. Kenny Raymond and Matt Leddo show some skin during a pretty steamy love scene.
SIGNATURE MOMENT: From a mindf*ck visual standpoint, we were going to give this to John’s visions. The majority of SOLACE is presented in a very competent, albeit slightly generic, fashion, similar to what you might see on an episode of LAW AND ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, CSI, or CRIMINAL MINDS. When those visions kick in, everything changes. Big time. Lots of dark, surreal, unsettling imagery, forced upon the audience. Almost literally shoved in your face with the crazy zoom-ins and quick cuts. Almost. These bits shake up the sometimes generic feel of this flick and give it purpose. But, that said, we could also give the SIGNATURE MOMENT to John’s psychic verbal takedown of Katherine or to full-on “doesn’t flinch nor shy away from showing the gross stuff, not even for a second” autopsy of the young boy Robert. Haven’t seen a verbal takedown that vicious since PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES, and haven’t a kid autopsy that graphic since Ripley demanding little Newt be split open in the first ten minutes of ALIEN 3.
IDIOT MOMENT: We’re still trying to wrap our heads around why John waits out the clock with Charles in the finale. The smart move for John would’ve been to put a bullet in Charles and not run the risk of Katherine being killed. The not smart move, which is what John opts for, is to wait around and see if the deadly vision that has been haunting him for the entire runtime comes true or not.
“WTF?!?” MOMENT: Early in the second act of SOLACE, Katherine says “What the f*ck?” to John. A literal WTF moment. Wow. Can’t say we were expecting to see one of those this 31 DAYS OF HORROR.
USELESS KNOWLEDGE: The script for SOLACE was originally picked up by New Line Cinema, with the intention to rewrite it as a sequel to SE7EN (1995), tentatively titled EI8GT. The main character was supposed to be SE7EN's Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who had acquired psychic powers. This idea was dropped after SE7EN director David Fincher reacted negatively to the idea, after which it was produced as a stand-alone film.
> After spending close to two years in the Warner Bros vault, SOLACE was acquired by Relativity Media. The film was scheduled for a late 2015 release, but Relativity encountered financial trouble and put off the release. Even after the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the film has yet to be released in the US. It was, however, released to theaters overseas and scored decent box office and okay reviews. It has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray overseas, so if you have a Region-Free DVD/Blu-Ray player, you can import this flick.
> There are four types of psychic abilities being displayed in Solace. John Clancy (Hopkins) displays clairvoyance and psychometry abilities. Charles Ambrose (Farrell) displays the abilities of clairvoyance, clairaudience, and claircognizance .
> The project was originally going to be directed by Shekhar Kapur with Bruce Willis in the lead role.
> All of the USELESS KNOWLEDGE was provided by IMDB.