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Thursday, May 22, 2008

THE KINGDOM (1994)

Recently, filmmaker/provocateur Lars Von Trier has been all provocation & no filmmaker, so it’s good to find this nuthouse tv series from a decade back offering so many creepy chills & guffaws in spite of its dated jittery handheld shooting style. (Was the flop Stephen King Stateside adaptation this good?) It’s an off-kilter horror tale, somewhat in the style of THE HAUNTING, but a brilliant conceit sets it all inside an ultra-modern hospital built over spiritually unsettled grounds. Everyone is either slightly nuts or hiding a secret while the hospital is literally falling to pieces. Von Trier crosses the line only in his use of a cute dishwashing Downs Syndrome couple who function as knowing Holy Fools, but everything else clicks, especially the lead doctor who looks like some aged matinee idol gone hopelessly to seed.

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