This misfit crew of researchers are in for a surprise by the end of the film - but would you expect any less?
Take an over-confident self-serving professor, three college students, one of which is an oversexed young and tall thin blond who is only one tie-died t-shirt away from qualifying as a hippy; add a frizzy blond haired electronic gizmo geek blindly obedient to the professor; we add a naïve young cameraman with uncertain religious convictions; and finally add our traditional mentally disturbed tormented young woman who demonstrates moments of, what appears to the professor as, episodes of telekinesis disguised as a demonic invisible friend. These are your cast of characters this story is built upon.
Official Movie Trailer
A Group of Misfits
If the young woman named Jane Harper, a tormented soul, did not have it bad enough considering her life of being passed along and rejected from one foster family to another, she gets a bucket full of pseudo-scientific torture from this warped Gilligan’s Island foursome. The professor and his crew experiment on their young female target by injecting her, depriving her of food, sleep, expose her to 24 hour loud music, electrical current, burning and flashing lights, all in the name of curing her of her imaginary friend and her psychokinesis.
Credit: cory stophletAs is typical of these group dynamic flicks, the characters eventually argue among themselves, question each other’s motives and especially the professor’s motives as they face the real evils of the story. They try to reconcile what they see and experience with their preconceived beliefs based on what they were taught by this professor. Oh, how wrong they were as they would learn.
The ending for this flick was fairly obvious from the start. The story is really about the want-a-be research team and less about the target of their attention: the apparently psychotically damaged young woman. As the story concludes you begin to ask yourself who or what has really been in control of all the events.
- Accomplished actor Jared Harris convincingly plays Professor Joseph Coupland; a man with a secret that has been driving his experiment since the outset and unbeknownst to his team.
- Actor Rory Fleck-Byrne plays the professor’s obedient electronics and techno-toys expert.
- Actor Erin Richards plays the over-sex blond medical assistant to the experiment.
- Actor Sam Claflin plays a religiously belief conflicted and smitten cameraman.
- And the target of the experiment, Actor Olivia Cook, does a great job performing the role of a psychologically and physically tormented woman struggling to cope with her own demon as well as the pseudo-scientific research team.
The movie is fairly predictable in every way right down to the professor’s secret. The story has a lot of pieces and parts from other similar tortured and possessed young person movies. Although Jared Harris’s performance as the Professor is excellent, there are no surprises in his character’s personal story that is slowly divulged as the movie reaches its end. The movie does have some quality moments but they are completely wrapped around the character of the tormented young woman played by Olivia Cook. So as for a final recommendation on this movie, if you are a fan of this genre, you already know that you have to take some of the story tongue-in-cheek and focus on the back-drop hidden story line and how Olivia’s character influences, directly and indirectly, the dynamics of the professor and his team.