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Have you ever set your beer back onto the bar and wondered "is ‘love at first sight’ really such a crazy idea after all?" They do often say, “love will make you do crazy things.”
The personality twists and turns of Stonehearst Asylum flip flops perspective and tells both your heart and mind to behave irrationally.
Stonehearst Asylum, originally titled Eliza Graves, was released in 2014 and received an honorable 4/5 stars on Netflix and an impressive 6.8/10 stars on IMDB.com.
Before even watching the movie, I must say that these ratings do not seem the least bit questionable when you see the cast: Kate Beckinsale, David Thewlis (Harry Potter fans), Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine and one of my favorite actors, Jim Sturgess. In mentioning this personal fact of mine, I would be remiss if I did not recommend the movie Across the Universe to… well, literally everyone. (Jim Sturgess is phenomenal and Joe Anderson is phenomenal!)
Getting back to Stonehearst Asylum, the story begins with a demonstration in an Oxford class. The class is learning about different physiological afflictions, the focused one being hysteria. The girl in question, Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale), insists to the class that she is not crazy and begs for anyone to help her. This begins to set the tone of the story, and you wonder just how dark it will be.
The movie then moves forward to Stonehearst, an asylum that appears to be offering new and revolutionary care for its clientele. Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) is looking to learn the practices fromthe lead doctor- who is ironically off put Newgate’s interest in the field. What Newgate soon learns (not a spoiler) is that the real doctors are locked in the basement and the patients are all running the show. It then becomes his new mission to take Eliza Graves and escape with her.
At first, the viewer is surprised to see that Eliza does not want to go, which is where the poetry of the story begins. I am no doctor. In my very limited knowledge I will describe hysteria as a "mental illness" invented by men that only woman have. "Back in the day" woman who feared molestation were considered to be well... obviously insane. Then, of course the obvious cure of this fear was to molest said woman as often as possible. Eliza along with her fellow patients felt that the methods of curing them were insane and the story forces the audience to wonder which group of people really are the crazy.
I cannot go into much more detail without giving too much away so I won’t. To put it simply, this movie is brilliant, and you should watch it. To be completely honest, I don’t know if I would consider it to be horror/ suspense, thriller/mystery, a dark comedy or a Gothic romance. It is either all or none of the above.
Looking at ancient Greek theater, a play was a comedy when no one died, and a drama was basically everything else. So maybe I’ll just say it’s a drama. I personally find it amusing that, like the minds of its "crazy characters," this move does not seem to pick a category and stick with it.
Stonehearst Asylum is that movie where the sadness is entirely beautiful, and the ending, though you can’t really decide if it’s happy or sad, makes you smile. You will get that satisfied feeling of "Okay, this was worth it."
The move could be considered slow moving. Also, there are no jump scares. As with most cases, the crazy was… worth it! I give “Stonehearst Asylum” a random rating of 5/5 stars; one of the best endings I have ever seen. “Check mate.”