Thursday, January 11, 2007
Trance (a.k.a. The Eternal)
Nora-young, alchoholic socialite who goes to the family homestead to quit the habit; ends up the target of a witches curse.
Jim-Nora's husband, also an alchoholic; tends to be the jealous type.
Jim Jr.-Jim and Nora's son, doesen't say more than a few words throughout the entire movie.
Alice-orphaned kid whose sole job is to provide exposition for the audience, seems to know more than she lets on.
Joe-Nora's old boyfriend, most likely the father of a child she decided to abort. Stabbed to death with peices of a broken record.
Nora's Grandmother-crazy old lady who used to practice witchcraft; has been known to violently attack people without warning.
Uncle Bill-Christopher Walken! Lives in Ireland but has an unmistakeable NY accent. Finds a mummified body, which he somehow believes he can revive; gets stabbed to death.
Sean and Anlo-Joe's gun-toting friends, who seem to show up at just the right moment. One survives and the other gets killed.
Nimah-ancient Druid priestess who is brought back to life as part of a curse.
Jim and Nora have a wonderful relationship. They're wealthy, generous and have a deep lust for booze. After having a blast at one of many charity events, Nora passes out and falls down a flight of stairs. She survives, but the doctor insists she take time to rest and quit drinking. Of course, Nora and Jim both agree to sober up. In fact, they'll have plenty of time to do this during a planned trip to visit Nora's family...in Ireland.
While en-route to the family mansion, the couple, along with their son, stop at a pub for directions. And, for the road, a few pints. And then a few more pints. And a few more, and so on and so forth. Nora happens to meet up with Joe, her old boyfriend. Jim isnt so happy to meet him, and before you can say 'luck o' the Irish', Jim and Nora get kicked out.
Nearing the house, Nora rams the car into a wall (gee, I wonder why). As the passengers exit the vehicle, Alice appears and offers to lead them the rest of the way (as far as I can recall, the smashed car is never seen or mentioned again). Back at the house, Uncle Bill is there to greet everyone. After everything gets settled, Bill offers to take Nora to see her Grandmother, who is asleep in her room. Instead, he takes her into the basement and shows her a mummy he found. As Bill describes how he hopes to 'revive' this ancient being, Nora catches onto the fact that he's no longer playing with a full deck.
Sometime later, Nora and Jim get into a big, drunken argument, which ends with Nora stomping off. Jim decides to go after her and try to smooth things over. Outside, he meets up with Joe again, who demands to see Nora. Drunk off his ass, Joe knocks Jim unconscious, then goes inside the house and makes himself at home. Jim wakes up and finds Nora, who's acting weird and unresponsive. Prepared to toss out the unwanted housegest, Jim enters the study and finds Joe...talking to Nora, who's supposed to be right behind him. After an unintentionally funny scene, in which Jim, Joe and Nora beat the crap out of each other, one of the Nora's gets shot in the head by an outside force. Enter Sean and Anlo, who came to make sure their buddy Joe didnt get himself into too much trouble, and who happen to have some weapons at their disposal. This sets the stage for the second half of the film.
It turns out the fake Nora is actually Nimah, a Druid priestess who was left by her lover (who she later hunted down and murdered) and who has returned to (I'm assuming, since the movie doesent make this part quite clear) pick up where she left off by killing Nora and taking her place. Not only does she look exactly like Nora, but she also has this weird ET-like connection to her (if one takes a drink, the other gets wasted too, etc.). Nimah decides to take Jim Jr. hostage (the actor playing the kid emotes less than Keanu Reeves on valium) and much of the action is spent trying to get him back.
The ending didn't make a whole lot of sense, although there was enough of a story to make up for that, at least. Overall, I'd say that there could have been a lot more done with the material (especially in terms of special effects), and above all, there weren't nearly enough death scenes, particularly for a horror movie. Still, I'd say its better than I would have expected from a straight to video title, and worth watching at least once.
What I learned from this film:
* Every stereotype you've ever heard about Irish drunkeness is absolutely 100% true.
* It is not uncommon to find a fossilized potato in the box spring of an Irish bed.
* Bog mummies typically look as if they've been sculpted out of chocolate.
* Ireland is the last place on the face of the earth anyone should ever go to get sober.
* It is not uncommon for an Irish gardener to patrol a house with guns at night, even if it has no garden.
* Druid priestesses don't take kindly to deadbeat dads.
* Christopher Walken talks the same way in every movie he's ever been in.
* The old "tossing a bucket of water on a witch to kill her" only works if there's electricity involved, and sometimes not even then.
Final Score: 3 out of 5