Writer: Joe Gangemi (Screenplay) Edgar Allan Poe (Short Story)
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Jason Flemyng, Sophie Kennedy Clark
Plot: A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues — though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.
Verdict: Thriller That Lacks Something
Story: Stonehearst Asylum starts in Oxford University where The Alienist (Gleeson) tries to prove the madness of young woman as he teaches his students how to treat people with this dimension. Edward Newgate (Sturgess) is our medical student studying to become an Alienist and his work takes him to the Gothic Stonehearst Asylum. Finn (Thewlis) fills in the information about the number of patients that are at Stonehearst as well as filling us in on some of the more unique ones.
The head Doctor Silas Lamb (Kingsley) grills Edward on his motives about getting into the mental health world where his work would only be questioned and not held in high regard. Going on the rounds with Lamb, Edward the two are clearly going to start clashing with their ideas of methods with Lamb trying to keep his patients happy while Edward wants to cure their problems. On the trip around the hospital Edward gets to learn the story of Eliza Graves (Beckinsale) a patient that looks relatively normal compared to the rest.
Edward gets a warning from Eliza which leads to Edward investigating the Asylum and discovering Benjamin Salt (Caine) who claims to that himself and his employees are trapped in cells and Lamb has taken over the hospital. Edward has to figure out a way to work out who is really in charge and figure out how to prove what is going on. Edward continues to learn about the asylum where he has the make the final decision about what to do.
Stonehearst Asylum is a film that was slightly misleading because I thought it was going to leave us wondering who was the rightful doctor but in the end it gives us the information freely leaving us to wonder how Edward deals with the situation. The film did pull me in but through the whole film I did feel like something was missing. There is one final killer twist but otherwise it will play out how you would expect offer very simple. (6/10)
Kate Beckinsale: Eliza Graves is the beautiful patient who has captured the eye of young doctor Edward Newgate, she tries to help him get through the situation in the hospital leaving us to question whether she is really as mad as she is claimed to be. Kate gives a solid performance that continues to show her decline in performances in recent years. (6/10)
Jim Sturgess: Edward Newgate is a medical student looking to learn about the mental health. He requests to attend Stonehearst but little does he know that he is walking into the middle of a battle of power in the asylum. Edward has to work out who to help the doctor who goes too far or the patient taking over the asylum who treat each other like human beings. Jim gives us a good performance through the film. (7/10)
David Thewlis: Mickey Finn is the muscles and man who will do the dirty work for Silas Lamb, he enjoys hurting people making him the most dangerous man in the asylum. David does a good job as the loose cannon in the asylum. (7/10)
Ben Kingsley: Silas Lamb is the man running the asylum but turns out to be a patient of the asylum, he has watched how the asylum was once run and now he thinks he knows how to treat the patients with the treatment they truly need. Ben delivers one of the best performances in the film being so calm and calculated throughout. (7/10)
Michael Caine: Benjamin Salt is the head of the doctor who has been locked away by Silas and his patients whoo have taken over the asylum, he tries to get Edward to help but knows he can’t risk the new doctors life. He methods are what had led to the patient revaluation. Michael doesn’t have enough screen time for my liking for the character. (6/10)
Support Cast: Stonehearst Asylum has a supporting cast that includes the rest of the patients and doctors, you have to work out who is what as the story unfolds.
Director Review: Brad Anderson – Brad does a good job directing but there is a certain moments that could have been better and we could have seen a lot more about the difference between Lamb and Salt. (6/10)
Thriller: Stonehearst Asylum does keep us guessing to what will happen, but I feel we could have had a little extra to pull us right in. (6/10)
Settings: Stonehearst Asylum keeps most of the action inside the asylum which helps keep us guessing because we know all the true identities are inside the asylum. (8/10)
Suggestion: Stonehearst Asylum is one to try, I think it will be enjoyable to watch but I do feel certain people will find it slow. (Try It)
Best Part: Final Twist.
Worst Part: Slightly slow.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
Tagline: No one is what they seem
Overall: Thriller that is entertaining but lacks that extra punch to pull it right in.