Unable to cope with her existence as it stands, 16-year-old
Kelly decides that she would rather be with her father than
her workaholic mother Laura Lee. The only problem is that
her father died several years ago. Her suicide attempt doesn't
go to plan, but this acts as a wake-up call for her mother,
who decides to take Kelly away from it all for a few weeks.
While on holiday Kelly comes into contact with a strange young
man who she instantly connects with. But who is he and why
does he keep vanishing into thin air?...
most notable thing about Spectres
or the thing that most reviewers are likely to pick up on
- is the fact that it reads like a Who's Who of Sci-Fi
TV and movies. There are actors from Star Trek (The
Next Generation and Enterprise), The X-Files,
Stargate and the Bond movie Licence to Kill.
Yet, thankfully, the writer and the director have cast all
of their principle actors against type.
Sirtis is not the understanding and sensitive Troi we have
come to know and love. She plays the bitch mother from Hell.
Okay... that may be a little over the top. She is probably
better described as a misunderstood working mother who has
buried herself in her work rather than come to terms with
the tragic death of her husband... but boy does she pull out
all the stops.
is not a nerdy computer geek who is convinced of government
conspiracy theories. He's a down to earth psychiatrist who
is trying to save the mind of a very mixed up 16-year-old.
In his role as Doctor Halsey, he proves that he can play sensitive,
leading roles... hopefully something he'll get to do more
of in the future.
straight away, you have to take your hat off to some bold
casting decisions. Sirtis's character really does come across
as a total bitch, which just goes to prove that her acting
talent does stretch a lot further than what we have previously
seen - even when she appeared in Stargate SG-1 she
was playing a Troi-type character. And just when she seems
to be mellowing, off she goes again into tantrum city. This
character really does require a certain calibre of actress.
could have been so easy during the tantrum scenes, and under-acting
could have been an issue in the "nice mom" scenes.
Thankfully, not only is Sirtis's acting up to the challenge,
but she also really seems to have a fantastic grasp of what
the character is all about. Add this to the fact that she
has an electrifing onscreen chemistry with Lauren Birkell,
as her daughter Kelly, and you have a very believable disfuntional
Cruz is great as the mysterious young man who Kelly starts
to fall for, Loanne Bishop is perfect as a creepy, unhinged
"ghost", and Tucker
Smallwood also turns in a fantastic performance, which instantly
has the audience warm to his character. But it is the young
Birkell who really steals the limelight. Her take
on the character is spot on. Moody one minute, in control
of her destiny the next, this is a real complex role - and
one that Birkell takes as her own with amazing success. If
her performance had been bad, then the movie just wouldn't
have worked. Thankfully it isn't and, as a result, the movie
works a treat.
project is an ambitious one and director Phil
should be proud of the work he's managed to achieve here.
With so many actors from small and large screen I'm wondering
how many egos Leirness had to keep under control on a day-to-day
basis. Not only that, but he manages to entice some fantastic
performances out of the younger cast. God only knows how intimidating
it was for Birkell working with so many famous faces, but
she turns in the performance of her life. Also, Leirness gets
a great performance out of the young Alexander Agate, who
a sweet, if somewhat creepy, child.
film is not really a ghost movie as such - being more about
the strained relationship between a mother and daughter. In
many respects, it is a haunting story about isolation, regret
and a lack of communication - something most families will
be able to identify with.
far, this movie has been confined to convention and movie
festival screenings, which is a great shame. Spectres
has a lot to offer a cinema-going audience. It is intelligent,
it is funny and it is creepy.
only real problem is that Hollywood likes to be able to stick
movies into a genre (horror, romantic comedy, sci-fi etc.)
and Spectres breaks the mould on what has gone before.
More than simply a ghost story, or an uplifting tale about
human interaction, this movie defies any of Tinseltown's cosy
thing that would have helped the production would have been
a slightly longer running time. There are a couple of scenes
which would have benefited greatly from more fluid dialogue.
For example the introduction of Franklin (Tucker Smallwood)
could have been handled a little better - some of the dialogue
seemed a little too rushed, as though a lot about his history
needed to be conveyed to the audience in a very short space
this is a very small niggle, in what is an exceptionally well
produced, directed and acted production. Sci-Fi nuts will
love the fact that there are so many familiar faces portraying
totally new roles and anyone who likes an engaging movie that
offers that little something different will also be impressed.
In fact, it's a movie for everyone.
Spectres goes straight to DVD and video without receiving
a proper movie release it will be a great shame.