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Anamorph (DVD)

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Genre: Crime & Thriller / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Henry Miller / Actors: James Rebhorn, Willem Dafoe, Peter Stormare, Scott Speedman, Clea Duvall ... / DVD released 2009-07-27 at E1 Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen

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    2 Reviews
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      12.01.2010 18:39
      Very helpful



      An interesting thriller movie..recommended.


      "Anamorph" is a 2008 psychological thriller film directed by H.S. Miller and famous American actor Willem Dafoe played the title role in this movie. The theme of this movie based on the painting method "Anamorphis", where a single painting contains two opposite images and the viewer requires a special device or a specific point to see the other image. H.S. Miller also co-wrote (and Tom Phelan) the script of this movie.


      * Willem Dafoe plays the role of Stan Aubray (Main protagonist of this movie, an ageing and troubled detective in New York police department. )
      * Scott Speedman plays the role of Carl Uffner (A young and dynamic detective and currently teams up with Stan to solve a case.)
      * Clea DuVall plays the role of Sandy Strickland (A friend of Stan and Crystal )
      * Amy Carlson plays the role of Alex Fredericks (An ambitious and intelligent reporter works for a local newspaper.)


      Stan Aubray is a senior detective in New York Police department, and currently takes classes in Forensic Psychology department. Few years ago, he solved "Uncle Eddie case" and became popular in the police department. He got promoted. After that, he suffers from constant guilty feelings as he assumed he did not catch the real serial killer. Recently, a murder takes place in a hotel, and it follows the similar killing pattern of "Uncle Eddie". Detective Stan is called back to the crime scene to investigate and solve this murder case. He teams up with an enthusiastic young detective Carl.

      So the story tells us, how they able to catch this violent and dangerous serial killer. It also tells us, about the past of Detective Stan and his guilty conscience. This movie has a very moving and gritty story line, and I enjoyed watching this.


      It is a psychological crime/thriller genre movie and the storyline revolves around a serial killer and his artistic killing pattern. Detective Stan is a middle-aged, intelligent, mild and thoughtful NYPD detective. He investigated and solved a dangerous "Serial-killer" case few years ago. But somehow he thinks he made a fatal error and killed the wrong person. He lost his confidence and becomes alcoholic. I really liked the character of Detective Stan. Willem Dafoe did an outstanding job in this movie. He portrays the character of Stan Aubray with perfection. Stan is often confused and always thinks he did something bad in his last job. He always has these visions from his past and feels guilty about it. He starts drinking heavily and tries to forget the past. He is insecure and does not have active social life. He is obsessed by the memory of a poor girl, Crystal (one of the Uncle Eddie's victim). He could not be able to save Crystal's life and feels immensely guilty about it. Stan is an avid art lover and has this obsessive compulsion about paintings and antic furniture. The character of "Stan Aubray" is really difficult to perform on the screen. This character deals with lots of emotions, various facial expressions and difficult dialogues. But, Dafoe played this character superbly. He is a prominent stage actor, so it was probably a little bit easier for him to get inside this role. Audience easily feels sympathy for the character of "Detective Stan". I really liked Dafoe's performance in this movie.

      This movie deals with various murder scenes, and all of them are very brutal and shocking. It is distinctly not suitable for the younger generations. All these crime scenes involve lots of bloods disoriented dead body. All these scenes are very explicit and truly disturbing. Well, one thing for sure, director did a tremendous job by creating such vivid and detailed murder scenes. If you don't like gory movies, and this one is definitely to avoid. The killer follows a unique art technique to kill his victims. Detective Stan is a dedicated art-lover and always tries his best to catch him. The killer applies a painting technique to kill his victims. He leaves clues for next murder in his paintings. Veteran detective Stan is an expert in historical arts and paintings, so he finds it easier to decipher the hidden message from those pictures. All these paintings are like puzzles, and you need to solve them as soon as possible to catch the killer. I really appreciate how the director explains the painting technique to the audience. The story of this movie moves very slow, most of the time it follows a descriptive style. Either detective Stan or other characters describe about various types of paintings and their historical relevance. Director slowly develops each character and reveals their personal life to the audience, so they can easily relate to them. Detective Stan always haunted by his past memories and constantly suffers from guilty feelings. I really like the way director shows the flashback of Stan's memories. This is very unique and stylish. To be honest with you, it is not much of an interesting story-line to watch. But the theme of this movie is very meaningful and realistic.

      Scott Speedman plays the role of detective Carl. He is very confident, energetic, smart and outspoken. He teams up with Stan to solve this case. Sometimes, he is annoyed at Stan's odd behavior but always tries to help him to solve this case. Carl is completely different than Stan. But both of them work together to solve this case. Carl is very ambitious and wants to be a senior detective in the police force. But he is also honest and loyal. He really feels for Stan and always tries to help him. He is young and eager to learn about the different types of cases. He always tries to cheer up his senior partner Stan and gives him company. Mr. Speedman did a splendid job in this movie. He played the character of Detective Carl really well. I really like the courage and confidence in Carl's character. I really enjoyed Scott Speedman's acting. Famous Swedish Actor Peter Stormaire played the role of a supplier of antique furniture. He is smart and very kind. He always tries to help Stan to catch the serial killer. I enjoyed his acting as well. Clea Duvall plays the role of Shandy Strickland. She is an ex-girlfriend of Stan and a good friend of Crystal. She is also suffering drinking problems and sometimes Stan visits her to share his thoughts. I really don't like her performance in this movie. She is not connected with the scenes and always overdid the dialogues and facial expressions. All in all, Willem Dafoe gave a brilliant performance in this movie. As a young, passionate and ambitious detective, Scott Speedman did a very good job in his role. I really enjoyed their acting.


      * Excellent characterization of Detective Stan Aubray.
      * Unique storyline.
      * Brilliant acting by Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman.


      * Very disturbing and brutal murder scenes.
      * Excessive violence.
      * Very lengthy.(approximately one hour and 45 minutes long)


      This movie mainly received mixed responses from both viewers and also movie critics. It is mainly because of its unique storyline and some violent murder scenes. Currently, this movie has a rating of 5.6/10 in IMDB, voted by almost four thousand viewers. But this movie was received very poor responses from Rottentomatoes critics.

      Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvIxctoJkc
      IMDB Rating: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497323/
      RottenTomatoes Rating : http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/anamorph/


      To be honest with you, I enjoyed watching this movie. But, I really don't like those horrific murder scenes and excessive bloods on the screen. Other than that, this movie has a very gripping and moving storyline. Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman played their roles very well in this movie. This movie has eye-catching and innovative flashback scenes, effective background musical score. Famous American wrestler and actor Mick Foley played a very small role in this movie. This movie is one hour 45 minutes long and rated "R" for strong violence and very disturbing images. But if you like arts and paintings and enjoy odd "serial-killer" movies then this one is definitely worth watching.


      You can get the DVD from amazon.co.uk and it will cost you only £7 (including delivery charge). Otherwise you can rent this DVD from any high-street rental stores.

      Many thanks for reading my review.


      '''***This is a movie only review and also posted on Helium and CIAOunder same username.***'''


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        12.01.2010 00:06
        Very helpful



        I nearly nodded off from the inertia on screen

        note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room

        You probably haven't heard of Anamorph, and honestly, that's with good reason, becauee although this stars Willem Dafoe and Prison Break star Peter Stormare, it's a tiresome and trite entry into the thriller genre, that doesn't offer much to make it qualify past the standards of straight to DVD fare.

        Stan Aubray (Dafoe) is a semi-retired police officer who has all of the flaws that by now make a character "complex" and conflicted, such as an alcohol habit and of course a handy case of OCD. He teaches a forensic psychology class, but is drawn back into the force when some murders begin occuring that are elborately staged like gigantic artistic statements. The killings bear similarities to a previous series of killings he investigated, causing him to relieve that pain and returning to his drinking. Meanwhile, he has to keep it together while younger, more skilled hotshot Detective Blair (Stormare) tends to the case.

        While it's not the worst idea in the world for a thriller, the execution is just very by the book and the end result is something that's yawn-inducingly boring, not every raising its energy levels up or being particularly exciting. Dafoe could clearly do better, and while the instant reaction is that this was a paycheque role, I can't imagine he was paid much for this given the paltry budget!

        While well-made and decently acted given its evidently low-budget, Anamorph is an overly-protracted, all-too procedural thriller. Moreover, the serial killer's motive, as well as the film's entire art-centric concept is never given a plausible reason to exist. Anamorph is about as dry as thrillers come.


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