HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Machinist, The Hollow Man
Year: 2004
Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Larry Gilliard Jr., Reg E. Cathey, Anna Massey, Matthew Romero Moore
Genre: Thriller, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) works as a machine operator at a factory and spends his spare time obsessively cleaning his apartment and sleeping with a hooker called Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Trevor's life is slowly falling apart – he barely eats, hasn't slept for a year and someone is leaving sinister post-it notes on his fridge. Not only that, but he is being followed by a mysterious man called Ivan who may or may not exist. What can it all mean?

The Machinist gained a lot of press for the dramatic weight-loss that star Christian Bale underwent for the role – shedding over 60lbs – and his emaciated appearance haunts the entire film. Even clothed, Bale's cheekbones and hunched, skeletal frame reveal a man who is literally wasting away, and the sight of his naked torso is shocking – ribs, shoulder blades and even his spine threatening to burst through his pale, stretched skin. But Bale's performance is more than just a physical transformation, and his soft, sad voice and haunted eyes evoke great sympathy for a man we actually know almost nothing about.

Director Brad Anderson's last film was the highly effective asylum shocker Session 9, and The Machinist is similarly menacing, as past, buried horrors return to shatter the calm of the present. Scott Kosar's script reveals itself slowly, as Reznik's life is shown in precise, eerie detail, his job, his strangely intimate relationship with Stevie, and his nightly pilgrimage to an out-of-town airport, where he is drawn to coffee bar waitress Marie (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón). It is when Reznik, distracted by the appearance of the mysterious Ivan, causes a horrific accident at work that his life truly starts to crumble. Reznik is first convinced that his workmates are playing cruel pranks on him, but as things start to get increasingly weird, it seems that the answers may lie closer to home.

Anderson shoots in colourless, saturated tones, and succeeds in capturing the dislocated world in which the sleep-deprived Reznik exists. Not that much really happens, but the pay-off is well handled; there's no great 'shock' revelation, but the film is all the better for it, and unlike the similarly themed Memento, it is clever enough to be more than just a twist for its own sake. The performances also hit the right notes throughout – is anyone truly whom they seem? Why are both Stevie and Marie so drawn to this strange, intense man? Can Miller, the now one-armed victim of Reznik's negligence (nicely played by a bearded Michael Ironside), really have forgiven him? If Ivan doesn't really exist, how can Reznik have found a picture of him and another workmate fishing together?

Anderson was forced to make The Machinist in Spain after he failed to find financing the US, and you can understand why potential investors may have been put off. The film is all menace and atmosphere but with little in the way of actual thrills. But it's also a well made, haunting film that works on various levels – horror movie, twisted love story, study of loneliness and mental fragility – and plays on the mind for some time afterwards.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 6366 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Brad Anderson  (1964 - )

American writer and director who made the comedies Next Stop Wonderland and Happy Accidents, before scoring a cult hit in 2001 with the horror Session 9. The similarly spooky The Machinist and solid Hitchcockian thriller Transsiberian followed before television took up most of his time.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: