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Review: Turgid '6 Souls' could use more personality

Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers acting talents are blunted by filmmakers' stunts.

April 04, 2013|By Robert Abele
  • Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Jeffrey DeMunn in "6 Souls."
Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Jeffrey DeMunn in "6 Souls." (Courtesy of Radius-TWC )

Beware the horror-thriller about personality disorder that suffers from its own fractious splits in title, mood and logic.

"6 Souls," originally completed (and released overseas) years ago under the title "Shelter," begins as a run-of-the-mill gothic/psychological suspense film. Julianne Moore stars as a forensic psychiatrist who is skeptical of dissociative identity disorder but is confronted with a creepy patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) practically bursting with various entities and barely concealed menace.

But then the movie starts exhibiting the tendencies of a turgid whodunit when one of the patient's "personalities" turns out to be a teenager presumably murdered years ago. By the time writer Michael Cooney and directors Mans Marlind and Björn Stein shift their creation into Satanism-drenched overdrive in a remote mountain holler, one could be forgiven for cutting short the visitation time with this absurd specimen.

"6 Souls" is regrettably sick with that familiar disease afflicting movies of this ilk: ostentatious, hollow moodiness that spreads like an unwelcome rash. The filmmakers exhibit a flippant disdain for Moore's natural on-screen intelligence and Rhys Meyers' acting-exercise vigor, preferring instead to hit the audience over the head with camera tricks, flashy editing and loud noises.

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"6 Souls." Running time: 1 hour, 52 minutes. Rated R for violent content, disturbing images and terror. At Sundance Sunset Cinemas.

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