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Schism (2009)

Theatrical Poster
Director:
Derek Purtell Derek Purtell
Starring:
Lynn Lowry Lynn Lowry
Robert Youngren Robert Youngren
Janet Tracy Keijser Janet Tracy Keijser
Joshua Nelson Joshua Nelson
Polina Gorman Polina Gorman

6.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Slasher Film
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Review by Bill Wolford
Added: February 28, 2012
I knew that I was going to like this movie before I ever watched it. The reason for this is Lynn Lowry. She has played in some of my favorite horror films over the years, including "I Drink Your Blood", "The Crazies" and "They Came From Within". She has acted well in each film, and it's not wrong to say that I had a crush on her in my early days of watching horror films. To find out that she not only starred in this new film, but co-wrote and co-produced it had me very excited indeed. So let's find out more about Schism.

Betsy, Jackie and Lola are all the same person (Lynn Lowry). They make up the three personalities of a local cable talk show host. Her show, "In Touch With Insanity" deals with the people who are "not normal". She has call-in's from people who are depressed, suicidal, think they are vampires, shut-ins, kleptomaniacs, people with homicidal tendencies, among others. A lot of the people that she talks to she ends up referring to her doctor, who she says has helped her in her battle with multiple personalities.

One by one these people are visited by Dr. Fuller (Robert Youngren). It seems as though the doctor has other plans than curing his new patients. For each individual he has a special plan. He tricks them into believing that he is curing them, and at the same time he drugs and hypnotizes them into doing his wishes. Murder, experimentation, extortion and manipulation are what he has in mind for these people. It seems for them that the cure is worse than the problem they faced originally.

The talk show host finally begins to realize what is going on, and that she has unwittingly been participating in giving the doctor unwilling patients for him to practice his madness on. All of the characters come to clash together and the twisting climax is worth the wait during the films build up. The conclusion is nothing short of shocking.

The heart and soul of this film is Lynn's performance. By pulling off a convincing role of a woman with multiple personalities, she helps bring credibility to the rest of the film and it's actors and their plights as well. The plot is a solid one, and there are no moments that drag during the 90 minute running time. There is even some humorous moments courtesy of a fun bar scene where we get to see lynn's character sing. (and she does a very good job of this as well. Talk about being talented!) There is also a laughable moment near the beginning of the film as Lloyd Kaufman gets a cameo as one of the nuts that calls in on the cable show. The only complaint I had was the doctor. His character was not convincing to me. His acting seemed quite wooden for someone who was supposed to come off as menacing and threatening. This is a small complaint though as every other actor in this low budget production was well above the level of acting that is usually seen in these types of films.

The film is in anamorphic widescreen and looks great. The stereo sound was great most of the time. There was some muffled sound in a few scenes mostly involving the doctor. Again, it's noticeable, but does not last long enough to become a distraction. The special effects were very good considering the budget, and they were not over used. This is a character driven movie with a great plot, and the effects only enhance and drive us to the films exciting conclusion.

On the copy of the film I got, it says that I had the "2-Disc Special Edition". And I hope the official release keeps it that way, because the special features on the second disc are truly worthwhile and fun. First of all you get an audio commentary along with the film on the first disc with Lynn Lowry, director Derek Purtell and his wife and co-writer Erika Purtell. Then on disc two you have "The Making of Schism". A 45 minute feature speaking with the actors and the director. Next is a special effects feature running 11 minutes, A Lynn Lowry in depth interview that runs 39 minutes. Deleted scenes is next, running 22 minutes. A short feature with the soundtracks band "Power Skeleton" that lasts 8 minutes. And last, but surely not least is a short 6 minute segment talking with Lloyd Kaufman.

This film is a must buy, plain and simple. Fans of Lynn Lowry, and fans of independent cinema need to own this so you can see how much can be done with so little. I'm not sure of the DVD release date yet, but there is going to be a screening of the film in Times Square, New York on March 3rd. If you're nearby, do yourself a favor and go see it.

7/10.
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