One of New Zealand's few Horror exports proved to be one of the best genre films to be received in 1997: THE UGLY. Scott Reynolds' chilling psychological thriller shares much of the same power and intensity as the similarly-themed THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and OPEN YOUR EYES, with added elements of ghastly horror. Serial killer Simon Cartwright is interviewed by a beautiful young psychologist at his own bequest, hoping to receive a reevaluation of his mental health that will help to set him free. Dr. Shumaker pushes Simon to reveal the motivation behind his patternless killing spree, but the deeper she probes, the closer she gets to the shocking truth! Simon Cartwright is an excellent addition to the long line of screen killers. Smart. Calculative. But highly sympathetic. Paolo Rotondo brings out each of these qualities smashingly, and manages to earn the viewer's trust despite his murderous past. Even throughout Simon's reconstructed memories, we are always left guessing as to which of the events have actually occurred, and which have been manipulated to suit his own sinister purposes. "The Visitors" and "The Ugly" may only be cunning tools used in his defense, but Reynolds is sure to leave this ambiguity up to the audience to decide. Along with the director's elegant interlacing of past and present events, Victoria Kelly builds upon the suspense with her elevating score. This mixture of psychological terror and outright horror will be perfectly suited for most Horror fans.
Movies like THE UGLY:
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, OPEN YOUR EYES, THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE, HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, GIALLO.