The psychological thriller Dark Obsession (formerly known as Anne, With Love) is directed by British filmmaker George Henry Horton. It is based on the screenplay he co-wrote with filmmaker Blaine Morris (the film’s lead). Horton is making his feature directorial debut, and Morris is making her debut as a writer of a feature film, with several short films to her credit. Horton has helped produce many other indie films previously. Dark Obsession debuted on the streaming platform Sky in the UK on August 28 and now has a US release on VOD/Digital on November 8. One central point for me is viewing the new (to me) talent.
Synopsis: Anne (Blaine Morris, MTV’s “Skins” TV series), an aspiring painter and housewife, struggles with inner demons and a mysterious presence lurking in the forest surrounding her home after being forced into solitude when her husband leaves unexpectedly. The only person she can speak to is her closest confidant, Maya (Mena Suvari, American Beauty), who has a dark secret. Perhaps the answers lie with her mother, Camila (Adriana Barraza, Blue Beetle, Babel, Drag Me to Hell), who desperately tries to connect with her, or her fearful neighbor, Charlotte (Danielle Harris, Rob Zombie’s Halloween)?
When I read the synopsis of the film and the credited actors, including Suvari, a BAFTA-nominated artist, and Oscar-nominated Adriana Barraza, for her supporting role in Babel, I was anticipating viewing these two artist’s performances. It is sad to say I did not, and it is not because of the two actresses. There are other circumstances. When I revisited the press release about the film when it debuted in the UK, this statement was provided: “When we first started filming, we were told by SAG we were the first pandemic film shooting in the whole of the Southern United States. That we pulled it off is nothing short of a testament to the dedication and talent of our wonderful cast and crew,” said Writer/Director George Henry Horton. “I’m thrilled that Alarm Pictures have partnered with us for our UK and US releases, and I hope for the film to resonate with audiences worldwide.”
The synopsis gives the viewer an idea of what the film is about, but it does have much more than anticipated. The scenes may first lead the audience to think they know where the story is going, and yet, it differs, and that keeps the predictability factor down. For that reason, I will try not to write spoilers. That would be a disservice to the cast/crew for the good performances by the overall cast (no matter how long their performance is), the excellent cinematography by Luis Jordan Lorenzo (Briefcase), and the music by composer and songwriter Becca Schac.
One question that remains for me is why there is so little mention of the actor who portrays Anne’s husband in this film. Is this intentional or an oversight? IMDb and other sites provide brief information about him, nor do other websites. He is an actor to watch and should be on our radar.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Source: Giant Nugget Productions, Alarm Pictures