Film Reviews:

Lord of Illusions

(Clive Barker, US, 1995)

Strange to think this is only Barker's third movie in a decade, the man with the wandering accent has obviously been so busy doing other things. Unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten his first two films, and you can be forgotten for thinking you've seen most of this before.

Psychic Investigator Harry D'Amour finds himself in at the deep end, when he investigates the killing of illusionist Swann (Swann's show is one of the film's highlights, raising questions about what is "real" and "not real"), and how it's linked to a cult involving Satanic disciple Nix, who may (or may not) be dead. All the usual Barker topics crop up here - puzzles, resurrection, religion, piercing - and it feels uncomfortably like Barker was sleepwalking when he made it. Scott Pacula is a good hero, however, and thanks to Simon Boswell and Bob Keen, the film both sounds and looks good. The end of the movie brings it round full circle to how it all started; which may have been an attempt to show that everything is connected, but comes across more as a paucity of ideas! Chalk up another notch in the gradual mediocritizing of Barker, I'm afraid.

Jim McLennan

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