epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Movie Reviews: Captivated + The House Next Door + Witness + Footsteps In The Fog

Captivated: The Trials Of Pamela Smart (2014)
A documentary about Pamela Smart who was convicted for conspiracy to murder her husband in 1990. Hers was the first trial covered live on TV. This HBO documentary asks if the massive media coverage prevented her from getting a fair trial. This was grimly nostalgic. The 3 teens who helped her are now men and have all been paroled. This search for the truth asks why she is serving life without the possibility of parole.

Was Pamela Smart deeply involved in the murder or did the fierce media glare cause her to receive especially brutal treatment from the justice system? The final bitter tangle is not unravelled. Pamela Smart is interviewed and complains about the jury, myths about the case and the book turned movie ‘To Die For’ which was inspired by her case. She is tired of facing society’s wrath.

Was her motive sexual boredom? Did the 3 teens kill her husband and frame her for lighter sentences? Her elevated profile didn’t help her pre or post trial. Pamela Smart alleges she was abused in jail. Did she really commit a diabolical betrayal? She still maintains her innocence. Was there frank debate about her innocence in 1990? Or just random assertions and monstrous allegations? Did she revolt against the expectations of the life laid down for her?

The vintage footage shows a lot of mullets. Inaudible tapes helped convict her. Was the damning transcript really what she said?  The massive pre-trial publicity was damning. There are varying degrees of culpability. Pamela Smart was notoriously accused and it seems likely the unfettered access of the media caused an unfair trial. This leaves you aghast. Does Pamela Smart have cunning and guile? Was she impugned? All her appeals have been denied and she fears losing hope. This was good. Pamela Smart’s green eyes appeal. There is mumbling. She’s still fighting to get out. The truth is elusive.

Best Lines:
“Body wire.”

“Long haired hippy people.”

“My bad choices helped load the gun.”

“Nothing in here is my story.”

“Even Charles Mason doesn’t have that sentence.”

The House Next Door (2006)
Lara Flynn-Boyle, Colin Ferguson and Mark-Paul Gosselaar star in this inept adaptation of the classic Anne Rivers Siddons novel. A couple have a cat. The wife (Boyle of ‘Twin Peaks‘, ‘The Temp‘ and ‘The Practice‘) is stick thin and has a face full of fillers. She simmers with discontent in her secure niche. Her husband (Ferguson) is endlessly supportive.

The couple have a HUGE garden. The book had the ability to charm and terrify, this does not. They have a pool. Then a HIDEOUS new house is built next to them. And it is evil. The book took place in Atlanta in the 70s. This does not. The new neighbours Buddy and Pie move in. Things unfold differently from the book. The house has evil intent. Buddy and Pie depart and new neighbours show up. It wears down the resilience of the new family too. The heroine has deepening awareness that something is wrong with the new house.

There is lust and old friends won’t listen to warnings that the house has toxicity. Stupidity is a barrier to belief. No hero’s reputation is gained for the heroine for trying to save people and stop bad things from happening. This has no chilling sensation. Talking about haunting and evil isn’t socially validating. The ending is changed to a sap overload.

Best Line:
Houses don’t kill people.”

Witness (1985)

Footsteps In The Fog (1955)
Tags: movie review, twin peaks

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