Director: Gore Verbinski (2017) BBFC cert: 18
Gore Verbinski administered shock treatment to Johnny Depp’s career by directing the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, and the magnificent mess, The Lone Ranger.
The appropriately named director now turns his hand to horror, with equally mixed results.
It’s beautifully designed on a grand scale, and stunningly photographed.
Brit actor Jason Isaacs is wonderfully measured as the governor of an exclusive Swiss sanitarium. Forever pale and interesting, Dane DeHaan is suitably cast as a young US executive sent to Switzerland to rescue his CEO from hydrotherapy.
In the vein of the venerable Hammer House of Horror, the story draws heavily on the European folktales which inspired Dracula and Frankenstein.
Distended on a diet of eels and red herrings, the constipated storytelling puts a strain on the audience. It needs a good dose of leeches. Movement in the bowels of the castle allows for a necessary and explosive purge of plot, providing great relief all round.