A Performance of Personalities

Heather Locklear in The Terror Inside (1996) (aka: Shattered Mind)

Suzy (Heather Locklear) is happily married with two young girls although she keeps hidden the pain she carries from an unhappy childhood. But things become sketchy in her home following the shock of father's death as Suzy's behaviour becomes erratic and her husband struggles to not only make sense of things but deal with Suzy's sudden mood swings and changes in personality especially as at times she thinks she is a prostitute whilst at others a little girl. But after seeking help it becomes clear that Suzy is suffering from a multiple personality disorder.

I am sure I read somewhere that Heather Locklear had hoped that making "The Terror Inside", also known as "Shattered Mind", would help her to be seen as a serious actress capable of much more than playing attractive blondes. And credit to Locklear as she embraces the diversity of each of her character's personalities from being the housewife to the prostitute as well as the little girl. She actually does a nice job of restraining the performance so she never becomes too wacko which some actresses would have resorted to especially as this is a TV movie.

The trouble is that whilst Heather Locklear delivers a strong performance the storyline to "The Terror Inside" ends all over the place and flits between the personalities too often and abruptly. Maybe that is how it is for those who struggle with multiple personalities but it makes scene after scene in "The Terror Inside" jar. Of course this sudden jumping between personalities really works when Suzy's husband and children having to deal with what seems like erratic behaviour but beyond those scenes the storyline never really flows. In fact the storyline is a little predictable as the movie focuses on the horror of the personalities, getting to the bottom of what causes them and then dealing with them.

What this all boils down to is that "The Terror Inside" is worth watching mainly for the strong performance from Heather Locklear playing the multiple personalities with plenty of contrast. But beyond the performance and the personalities the actual storyline doesn't quite come together, relying too heavily on the shocks to entertain.

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