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Julia Ormond in Surveillance

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

BILL Pullman and Julia Ormond lend extra credibility to Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s serial killer movie Surveillance but their presence fails to mask the film’s many failings.

They play two FBI agents who are sent to interview the three survivors of a massacre on a deserted (or lost?) highway, which has left five people dead.

Included among the witnesses is a young girl (Ryan Simpkins) who possibly knows a lot more than she’s letting on, and an unstable cop, whose partner was among the slain victims. But no one wants to co-operate and everyone has a secret to hide.

Lynch’s first film since the long-lamented Boxing Helena almost 15 years ago is populated by the same kind of oddball characters that feature in a lof of her father, David Lynch’s movies, as well as a sinister and surreal reality.

But while the ingredients are in place for a strong psychological thriller, the director squanders all potential by opting to focus on voyeuristic and exploitative violence and objectionable characters.

A twist ending is also signposted far too early and lacks much credibility.

Pullman and Ormond do emerge with their reputations intact, and strike up a wickedly warped central partnership, but you have to wonder why they agreed to appear in the film in the first place, other than through allegiance to Lynch Snr.

In all other respects, Surveillance is a wretched experience that really does leave an unpleasant after taste.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 90mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: June 29, 2009