Knife Edge (2009) Poster

(2009)

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2/10
Failed attempt to revive British horror!
manchester_england20044 November 2010
KNIFE EDGE is a psychological horror thriller produced and set in England.

In its heyday of 1957-1983, Britain produced some of the greatest horror movies ever. It all took off with THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1957 (however the excellent DEAD OF NIGHT from 1945 was the first great production IMO). Hammer, Amicus and Tigon competed against each other in the 1960s and early 1970s. All three have superb productions to their name. After their decline in the second half of the 1970s, two excellent independent directors - Pete Walker and Norman J. Warren - took over the mantle for a few years.

Other classics such as THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES and THEATRE OF BLOOD were made here in Britain by other companies.

The last true British horror movie was HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS, the final and highly underrated masterpiece from Pete Walker in 1983.

British horror in its prime was truly fantastic. Americans and Europeans had no time for any of it back in the day but have since realised just how good it was. Some half-decent attempts such as HAUNTED came along to try re-igniting the old magic.

We now have the travesty known as KNIFE EDGE. Those who claim this is somehow a return to form need to watch some British horror classics again.

The plot here is compelling on paper. A married couple, along with their son, move into a country house. In the following days and weeks they begin having disturbing dreams and becoming paranoid.

It saddens me to see the comparisons made to classic movies here on IMDb.

KNIFE EDGE is nothing like THE CHANGELING.

It is nothing like THE OMEN.

It is nothing like WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?.

It is nothing like THE BIRDS.

And it is certainly nothing like Hitchcock's finest - PSYCHO.

The one thing this movie is unable to escape from is its drama-like feeling, reminiscent of TV shows like MIDSOMER MURDERS, but which are so out of place on the big screen.

The main problem here is the characterisation and the acting.

Emma and Henri do not make a convincing couple at all. There is no chemistry between the actors and the characters themselves seem to have incompatible personalities. One is a somewhat quiet but talented financial trader. The other is a smooth-talking Frenchman up to his eyeballs in debt and who gets irritated very easily. The tensions between the characters should have been great but the emotion just seemed absent.

Henri is played by Matthieu Boujenah, a French actor. The accent was clearly genuine and fit the character well but the emotions did not. After boring me to tears with his ramblings throughout, he then overacted very badly in one scene that made me laugh out loud.

Emma is played by an incredibly bland, charisma-free, dour actress known as Natalie Press. She was just boring to watch, full stop.

The one actor who does deliver a good performance here is Hugh Bonneville. He would have been equally great in the leading role. He has the right level of charisma and energy to pull it off. He was interesting to watch even though those he interacted with were so dull.

I have always thought that Joan Plowright would make an excellent villainess - someone very cold-hearted with malevolent intent. Sadly she is wasted here in a thankless role as a nanny.

The script is fatally flawed, with very boring dialogue. It tries to redeem itself by keeping scenes short and constantly changing setting. The tactic seemed good and would in theory help to keep things moving. But it doesn't.

Anthony Hickox brings very different direction from his father, Douglas Hickox (director of the masterpiece THEATRE OF BLOOD). His direction brings some superb disturbing imagery. But the effect of these was undermined by poor editing. Editing needed to be much sharper, character reactions needed to be much stronger and some better sound effects were needed.

Without giving anything away, I can say that the twists in the second half of the movie try to emulate those seen in movies such as HUSH, HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE. But the revelations are done in a very low-key manner that makes it easy to miss something.

The final 10 minutes of the movie pick up some steam. But by this point it is too late. The finale is worth seeing on its own but not worth enduring the rest for.

Overall, KNIFE EDGE is an incredibly boring movie that tries but fails miserably to re-ignite British horror. With so many better thrillers such as DISTURBIA out there, it is difficult to recommend this to anyone. Instead, I would recommend seeing something from Britain's horror heyday and find out what true British horror is all about.
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3/10
More annoying and startling than scary.
gmiller99003 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I paused this movie several times because I became bored and went to do some household chores in-between. The boy and his newfound, creepy doll were not an original idea. Very stale story line(s!). Same-old, same-old "horrifying" elements of personified trees, the pretend childhood friend, flash vision of a bloody corpse in the tub -- startling, but not scary. Almost as if most of it were cut and pasted from other horror movies. Redeeming factors for me were that I admired the beautiful English countryside as well as the charming European buildings -- especially the spacious country mansion. The husband seemed a little too extreme in his behavior. For being a presumably refined character, he became rather over-exaggeratedly upset and used profanity more than I would expect from a well-bred Frenchman. He seemed poorly socialized, all considered. As for the wife, if she were "psychic," I would have expected her to be more perceptive of the situation and with stronger discernment. I wouldn't expect her to plunge her whole arm into a "horrifying" tree hole without a little thought. After she left her work in New York and moved into the house in England, her psychic abilities were more or less forgotten. I regressed the movie several times to listen again to a whispered word or two that were unclear. In contrast, I could have done without the annoying, loud, startling outbursts of volume. I almost didn't watch the entire film.
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4/10
mess of horror ideas
SnoopyStyle23 August 2013
Emma (Natalie Press) is a successful trader who has some kind of clairvoyant powers. She and her family move to her husband's old family home in the English countryside. She finds it haunted in some way and has visions of what could be a murder. There's a weird creepy giant tree in the woods. Her husband doesn't care.

This British horror essentially threw a whole lot of stuff into this movie. Natalie Press is that likable. She seemed cold and distant. I was watching this more for Hugh Bonneville and he has a minor role. There is nobody to care about. It's obvious that this was a pretty bad fail. I'm not sure if I can pinpoint its failure on just one thing.
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3/10
Pfffft
ddivahannah9 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know what I'm going to put here since IMDb requires me to write at least 10 lines of review just to submit it when I could seriously sum up this dumba55 movie in two sentences. BUT I GUESS I WILL GIVE IT A TRY ANYWAY. The movie starts off with this "psychic" stock trader that gives up her career to move back to England with her French husband and child into a mansion that he bought about 3 years before they met. Intrigued yet not totally convinced about the house, she agrees to live there. Shortly after she starts having visions of a murder that makes her question their abode even more and her son starts playing with an imaginary friend he calls Tobias. Yet as tantalizing as it may sound, the storyline shifts so many times that it makes it impossible to enjoy. With the visions she has of the murders and a tree that seems to want to eat her alive, her sons imaginary friend, the accusation that her husband once lived there as a child who witnessed the murders, to her million dollar trust fund that she risks losing due to her "delusions" and her brother who's trying to get her to give him more money because he spent his inheritance, all of that nonsense completely ruined what could have been a very enjoyable flick. Even if the writer would have kept it simple and kept the story going in one solid direction entirely, it would have been more interesting to watch. It seems as though the writer couldn't decide what type of movie he wanted to create, therefore the end result was a hodgepodge of a thriller, mind bender, drama and a love story all in one. To sum it up entirely, crappy acting, weird storyline and definitely not as creepy as one would expect it to be. Do yourself a favor and MISS IT. I certainly wish I had my $5 back.
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9/10
Hell Yeah, Good Stuff
chicagopoetry9 December 2008
Yee gads, this is a good one. This is a true gem, a hokey haunted house movie in the lines of House On Haunted Hill that will scare the living daylights out of you. In the tradition of The Changeling (the one with George C. Scott not the one about the missing kid) and The Sentinel (the scary one not the one about government agents), this is an excellent fright fest that isn't camp and doesn't play it for laughs. The only scary horror movies are the ones that are serious, and this one is, with a lot of twists. If you liked The Shining or Amityville Horror, you will love this movie. This is what horror movies were like before Jason and Freddy and Saw, when frights came in the form of The Omen or Beyond The Door and the characters actually had mysterious motives. This movie has the patience to allow the atmosphere to startle you rather than resorting to cheep gore. I don't think I've seen a horror movie this engaging since What Ever Happened To Baby Jane; cross that with Stir of Echoes and you have Knife Edge. In Race With The Devil they had to go to a library that somehow had the exact book on satanic rituals that they were looking for, but in this modern movie they have Google, which is about the only thing that distinguishes this fine thriller from those great flicks that were made in the 70s and 80s, and even some of the movies made in the 60s such as Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. The ending is a mixture of Sixth Sense and Psycho. Knife Edge is a modern masterpiece. It is creepy in a Rosemary's Baby type of way.
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2/10
Very House Of Hammer like...but clichéd and dull, and poorly acted.
Lestat201015 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is very much like something out of the Hammer House of Horror, or an extended version of Tales of the Unexpected. All similarities end there. Hammer and Tales were both very enjoyable genre additions, but this is pretty turgid stuff. The positive reviewers are entitled to their opinion of course..as am I, and my sincere opinion as a genre buff is watch something else. I cannot believe they actually used the "open cupboard above bathroom sink with mirror on it, everything normal. Close cupboard and ....aaaahhhhh". Some reviewers have correctly identified elements of "The Guardian" and "The Shining", to which you could also add "Rosemary's Baby", "The Birds" and "The Amityville Horror"...this doesn't make it any better however. Hugh Bonneville is very dependable here and emerges unscathed, I can't say the same for the rest of the cast. Acting by numbers. I suppose the script and direction can't have helped. The best I can say is that the cinematography, art direction and sound were all uniformly excellent.
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6/10
Some Merit If Ultimately Disappointing
samkan12 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Not really a horror movie but a murder/suspense flick with some psychic insight by the femme fatale. The acting is really good...excellent as a matter of fact. There are some effective - if conventional - scare tactics. I cannot say that KNIFE EDGE is predictable as the expected "ghost influence" devise is not what you ultimately get. Despite the surprise twist the ending is still somewhat lacking, otherwise this would qualify as a fine movie. Also our lead male character's background and screen time should have been enhanced to the extent his female counterpart's was; i.e., as his past so vitally impacts on the plot. Overall, enjoyable but could've used more forethought.
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9/10
intelligence and horror!? it's too good to be true!
jdrhuk10 October 2008
Wow! Hammer horror is back!

I don't know if it was the intention of the film makers,but this movie could have been made in the late 60's/70's and after all the crap that they churn out as horror now days,what a relief.

First of all it has a story...Which in itself is a horror! (because aren't all us horror fans, just morons that don't want story,good acting and any character driven suspense!)

And talking of acting...Its pretty darn good in this film!Not sure about the lead (that's why i couldn't give it a ten),but all the others are spot on,and i challenge you to figure out the secrets they all hold.

Then there's the gore...which there isn't any!Well not until the last ten minutes,but when it comes,boy does it come!And it comes it's Argento's lipstick red exploding on the screen!Maybe its because there has been none before or this is the first horror movie since 'Rosemarys baby' that tells its story with the lights on but i found it really shocking.

So if you want a horror that doesn't treat you like an idiot,or thinks you'll only like it if its shot like a commercial...Go see this one,you won't be disappointed!
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4/10
Kind of Meh
xhidden9919 December 2012
Would have made an episode Midsomer Murder or Miss Marple or something like that. Otherwise it was kind of bland and obvious. The horror aspects were weak, it's more of a murder mystery. The editing seemed all over the place. The sound editing relied too much on sudden painfully loud crashing noises. The acting's fairly weak and TV-ish. Her husband, Henri seems to have a severe personality disorder than no one notices, the Joan Plowright character is wasted or slammed in the story as an afterthought. And what's with the kid, does he live there? He's always somewhere else. The plot sort of doesn't hold together vis a vis why are they in this house in the first place and why does a fabulously wealthy trust fund girl have to go all the way to America to use her psychic skills in the stock market when London, I've been told, has a perfectly serviceable stock exchange.
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1/10
Not film's finest hours!
x123456783 June 2013
It's already June 2013, so if you haven't already decided by now,,, I can help here,,,,,,don't waste any more of your precious time debating whether or not to watch this garbage.

Badly directed, badly edited and worst of all is the script. My goodness,,the script. No idea how this ever made it to production stage with this drivel that spewed from pen onto paper.

And they shout in unison "RUN AWAY" (Monty Python). NB - apply this to the viewing of this film also.

The positive reviews for the writing of this nonsense are clearly by relatives/ friends, as this is (by a long way) the worst film I have ever had the misfortune of watching. I bet Hugh Bonneville will want this one expunged from his record! Poor chap.

Never really felt compelled to comment about these sorts of things previously, but this has made me start!!! especially so others can avoid my mistake!
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10/10
very scary in an old fashion kinda way
cptakirk13 March 2010
Did not know what to think when i rented this one. the reviews seem to either love or hate it! i would have to go somewhere in between, because the way it was directed was very impressive and truly creepy without seeming to try too hard...but, well the story has been told a thousand times before.

Also the first half of the film, though slow really gets under your skin and the thriller (who dunnit) aspect of the film are great. but as happens in most of these movies it ends in a predictable woman in jeopardy situation.

all in all, its certainly worth seeing especially if you like movies like 'rosemary's baby'
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10/10
Just saw a screening in London and loved it!
erhsand20 February 2008
I just saw a preview screening of KNIFE EDGE in London and it I loved it. As a long term fan of the horror work of the director Anthony Hickox, I really didn't know what I was expecting from the film, but it knocked me over!

The film is reminiscent of Hitchcock at his best, it not only scored sky high as a psychological thriller but also a horror film, covering both genres beautifully. The supernatural content was so genuinely spooky, chilling and deftly handled by director Hickox, certainly the one of the best films of its type I have seen since Rosemary's Baby. I expect to have nightmares for the foreseeable future. I also was very impressed with the cast. I thought the acting was brilliant. Overall an extremely well crafted film.

Superb!
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8/10
Pretty fine from Hickox. funny and quirky and pretty unsettling
brianskeet23 May 2008
I just saw this at the Cannes film festival, and was delighted to see Anthony Hickox back on form. "Sunrise" (especially) and the two "Waxworks" are two of my favourites in the genre and I hooked up with Anthony in Los Angeles a few years ago and thought he was a pretty "coo dude".

He has a great sense of humour and it shows in person and definitely in his films to date.

This is a pretty creepy confection, with tight performances and some compelling performances, especially by Plowright and Morrissey.

Highly recommend.

For fans of off the wall humour and horror films like "Fright Night" and to a lesser extent "Scream".

Brian Skeet
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1/10
Just who edited this film?
teleopus28 January 2012
I cant recognise the work of a competent editor, nor can I see an editor credited. Just who edited this mash up?

The storyline is all over the place, The characters just aren't believable - one just doesn't care what happens. Back to the story, it has a "readers age" of sub 13, indeed intelligent 10, 11 and 12 year olds would find it vacuous.

Yet they save the worst aspect till last - it has absolutely no cinematic justification.

This film trashes whatever vestiges of a reputation Anthony Hickox may have had.

He should stick to vacuous action movies.
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3/10
It is closer to drama than to the horror, as it didn't present anything new !
hmspeed8 May 2010
I see a movie more than normal and less than average, in principle it is more drama than a horror movie .. For horror, it contains the usual vocabulary of horror, but which have become boring .. Doll terrifying, frightening dense forest of trees by tree terrifying sight, visions of a mysterious bathtub filled with blood by the woman lying was stabbed, and the famous scene of Jack Nicholson in The Shining film that breaks through the wooden door through which researchers paranoid about his wife frequently during the entirety of this movie with different characters .. This means that the film in terms of horror did not present anything new, but for the drama was the story of drama, in my opinion are very porous and non-court details, performance closure with that to some extent is good, I liked the performance champion Natalie Press in the scene discovered deceive her husband after the trial, was performance in this scene is very cool .. Eventually you will find that the movie is not good at all, and it is less than average and did not provide comfort or excitement at the level of fear or the level of drama .. And even now I do not understand why all the comments to my comment the previous seven commends this movie and recommend watching it, I see a film less than the average closer to the weak .. If you will not see it you can never lose ..
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9/10
This movie is an acid trip!
ultrashall2 July 2008
I saw the screening in Cannes. Still don't know if I understood all of it but it gave me a real chill... That's quite an achievement those days, it doesn't happened very often! I usually smile or laugh at those movies... The only weakness is the leading lady. All the other cast seemed to be enjoying the crazy ride but she looked like she just wanted off!! But the movie is so watchable and the rest of the cast is so gorgeous you won't even care!I especially like this french actor Mathieu Bougenah,Hugh Bonneville is sexier than I have ever seen him and I think we will see a lot more of Lorcan O'Toole very soon.. Overall, it's a big thumbs up!
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8/10
Someone is a murderer, someone is a liar.
alex-159730 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great picture. I caught the movie at a private screening in Soho, London at the Charlotte Street Hotel.

Not everything is set out like the typical dumb Hollywood chillers and the audience has to reach for the truth in this picture. Very creepy and very watchable. Someone is a murderer, someone is a liar. But something is not right from the get-go. You just gotta know what happens next. I think the script for this is very strong. Joan Plowright is fabulous. Anthony Hickox is back to his very best. Anthony has an extraordinary filmography under his belt. Anthony is one of the British directors to watch and having made many pictures in America, now has returned to his British roots to make a picture which may become a classic.
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