Sturgess the Asylum Seeker
Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) spotted Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale) at a talk on patient care in Asylums and seeing how this beautiful woman was being treated whilst becoming smitten with her leads him on a mission. Six months later Edward shows up at the Stonehearst Asylum supposedly to observe the work of Dr. Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley) but in truth is there because that is where Eliza is a patient. But immediately some thing doesn't seem quite right at Stonehearst as the patients appear to mingle with the staff and then one night Edward hears noises coming from down in the basement which he goes to investigate.
This review features a semi-spoiler alert and I added the word semi to the usual warning because what I will reveal is pretty obvious but it is something which isn't mentioned in that synopsis for "Stonehearst Asylum". As such if you don't want to know any of the twists whether big or small my advice would be to just watch "Stonehearst Asylum" as I know the majority of reviews I have read mention the most obvious of the twists.
So "Stonehearst Asylum" is one of those movies which in recent years have taken us into an asylum where clearly some thing is not right about it. As such it didn't take long, and I mean a couple of minutes, before I worked out that the Stonehearst Asylum had been taken over by the patients with Dr. Lamb being the insane mastermind behind this with his heavy Mickey Finn doing a lot of the dirty work with a sense of insane pleasure. But whilst obvious it does serve up the first creative idea which is whether the patients are doing better under Lamb's supervision compared to the cruel regime of Dr. Salt who along with his staff are being kept prisoner in the basement.
But that is not the only twist on the familiar storyline as "Stonehearst Asylum" has a couple more which revolve around Edward and Eliza giving the movie a much needed layer of intrigue which when you learn the truth will make you smile. That brings me nicely to Kate Beckinsale who after watching her in this I am convinced cannot look ugly. In the scenes where she is meant to be a deranged, unkempt patient as she is used as an example at the talk she still looks beautiful and then later on she looks absolutely stunning. In fact Beckinsale's beauty dominates this movie and is like a flickering flame in the darkness which is how everything else comes across in this gothic asylum with dark cells, equipment used for torture and much more. In fact whilst Ben Kingsley delivers an entertaining and slightly quirky performance whilst Jim Sturgess is solid as Edward it is Beckinsale who you remember from "Stonehearst Asylum".
What this all boils down to is that "Stonehearst Asylum" is entertaining with a decent play on a familiar storyline with some twists which will make you smile. But whilst full of detail and good performances the chances are it will be the beauty of Kate Beckinsale which you will end up remembering it for.