Saturday, July 13, 2019

Jade's Asylum (2019) Fantasia 2019


Jade, who is haunted by the abusive ghost of her father, goes to Costa Rica with her boyfriend and his buddies on vacation. There the guys get stoned and pick up some local women. She is annoyed that her beau has been stoned for two days and making out with one of the locals. Tensions grow before twisted humans come from the sea and violence erupts.

With stunning make up effects and great photography and editing Jade’s Asylum should be a great film, but it’s need to plumb the depths of the human psyche with long passages where not much happens and people just sit around and brood  kills the film. Because of the silences we don’t really get to know anyone, with the result everyone kind of blends together. Long silences are broken by too direct statements that mean something. The film more often than not feels like an attempt to make an art house drama rather than a thriller or horror film.

Making everything worse are plot turns that make zero sense. For example we are met with two conundrums at the start which quickly doom things. First why are we entering the action when tensions are high since its clear Jade and her boyfriend  hate each other?  If they don't hate each other then they have so much resentment that they will need years of therapy to make it work. The second point is why is Jade on the trip with all the guys when it was clearly a guys’ trip? The only reason she is there is to instigate the events in the film. Her being there and being in conflict lessens our ability to sympathize with her. Other problems arise with the plotting, but those made me disconnect from the film and not care about the others.

What kills me is that on a technical level the film is truly great. The images are perfect, the editing and sound masterful and I love the mossy deformed men. If this had had a plot that was up to the technical achievements this would have been a truly great film.

As it is now Jade’s Asylum isn’t recommended for anyone other than technical film freaks and monster make up fans.

One of the rare Fantasia misses.

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