Got THE MACHINIST from Netflix because (a) the "thriller" tag seemed like it would appeal to my wife (b) has Jennifer Jason Leigh as a prostitute.
Leigh has long been one of my favorite actresses - I mean, how can you not dig that voice? But has been risked being typecast - she's been a prostitute quite a few times. A notable exception: FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (there's others, I know, but play along - its a game).
Some with Leigh as prostitute:
THE MEN'S CLUB
(And of course, who could not lament her loss in the original THE HITCHER??)
Anyway, THE MACHINIST is a slow paced psychological thriller, called Hitchcock-like by one commenter on IMDB, with throws back to Poe's "A Telltale Heart." Some may notice an influence from SIXTH SENSE or even JACOB'S LADDER, but I think the mood/tone of this film is darker and more engaging. The punchline may have less 'punch,' but I think this film works better overall (than SIXTH SENSE), and does not try to achieve with gore like JACOB'S LADDER did.
The story follows Trevor (Christian Bale) on his plunge from sanity after a year of insomnia. First to go are relationships at work after he causes an industrial accident and subsequently blames the event on a non-existent coworker. His descent is tragic, but he does not become a formulaic psycho-killer like some might expect. In the end, though, Trevor is a sympathetic character, and we, as he, actually feel relief when he "gets his."
If you are in the mood for a slower paced mind bender, give THE MACHINIST a look. Bale gives a very convincing performance (I was imagining how the cast of THE CORPSE GRINDERS would do with this script for comparison) as did the rest of the cast. I pleased to see Michael Ironside true to form and believable as a someone crusty, someone cynical old machinst.
Helmed by Brad Anderson (SESSION 9), THE MACHINIST is not a bad way to burn a couple of hours.
4 of 5