Reviews

One Hour Photo

4

Okay, so Death To Smoochy may have been a bloody big nail in FilmFour's coffin, but the next two titles in Robin Williams' `evil trilogy' - - Insomnia and this slick thriller from video director Mark Romanek - - did much to yank his reputation out of the treacle pot.

Hair bleached blond, cold blue peepers staring out from behind specs, Williams cuts a chilling figure as Sy Parrish, a photo-lab drone with an unhealthy interest in one of the families whose pics he processes. The marriage of the Yorkins (Michael Vartan, Connie Nielsen) is already failing and the attentions of "Sy The Photo Guy" only exacerbate tensions within their suburban household.

Cleverly breaking up the blandness of Sy's antiseptic workplace with dream imagery, fantasy sequences and disturbing visuals (at one point Williams' eyes ooze blood), Photo is an unsettling psychodrama that reveals a whole new side to its leading man's persona. The only bum note is the cop-out decision to explain away Sy's craziness at the end of the movie, but by then the psychological damage has already been inflicted on viewers.

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