Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: Memory (Horror Collector's Set Part 3)

Memory is more of a thriller/mystery film than a horror film and I don't know why they chose to include it on a horror collector's set. Plus it's not a bad film and doesn't deserve to be lumped together with the other crap in this collection (that I've watched so far...still keeping my fingers crossed that Wages of Sin won't suck).

Dr. Taylor Briggs (Billy Zane) has dedicated his life to curing Alzheimer's for his mother, who is afflicted with the disease. While giving a presentation on the disease in Brazil, he encounters a substance used in ancient tribal rituals to evoke memories of ancestors. This substance enables Briggs to relive memories of his ancestors in dreams. In particular, he sees young girls kidnapped and murdered, becoming obsessed with solving the mystery of the killer's identity - and of his own ancestry.

This film includes the requisite thriller features:
  • Gaining information through Google searches/old newspaper articles
  • The doctor friend who can get his hands on coroner's reports
  • Breaking into houses to find more information
  • Realizing the killer is onto you
  • Confrontation with the killer, but getting away unscathed
  • A twist ending, complete with a big showdown with the killer
Although it follows the standard thriller conventions, the main plot idea is unique. Even if it's far-fetched, the thought of reliving your ancestors' memories is interesting. It makes you wonder what you would see if that were actually possible. And just the thought of one of your ancestors being a killer who was never caught is chilling.

It's pretty slow in the beginning and takes a long time for Memory to grab your interest. I didn't really start paying attention until at least 1/4 into the film, but once it grabbed me, I was very engrossed in trying to figure out the identity of the killer. Unfortunately, there weren't many characters to suspect. But somehow the identity of the killer and the twist ending still took me by surprise.

The characters are a little bland (especially the Dr.'s love interest) but I empathized with Briggs since Alzheimer's runs in my family. Plus, I just love Billy Zane (especially as the bad guy in Demon Knight). Dennis Hopper, Tricia Helfer and Ann-Margret also have roles in the film.

Memory is a thought provoking thriller albeit slow and by the book. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it. Check it out if it's on T.V. or you can grab it cheap enough.

Rating: 3/5

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