The Asylum – UK, 2000 – overview, reviews and free to watch online

 
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‘Some doors were meant to remain closed’

The Asylum is a 2000 British horror feature film about a young woman who is plagued by endless visions and nightmares; she suspects that as a child, she was responsible for the brutal murder of her own mother.

Written and directed by John Stewart, the Nunhead Films production stars Steffanie Pitt, Nick Waring, Ingrid Pitt (The Wicker Man; Countess Dracula; The Vampire Lovers), Patrick Mower (Incense for the Damned; Cry of the Banshee; The Devil Rides Out), Robin Askwith (Queen Kong; Horror Hospital; Tower of Evil) and Colin Baker (Doctor Who).

Reviews [click links to read more]:

The Asylum apes the films it references so much that it contains all their worst aspects – poor special effects, bad acting and a leaden pace. For anyone who isn’t a fan, it’s like sitting through a 90-minute in-joke that you just don’t get […] But the problem is that the deaths aren’t graphic enough for a 21st-century film, and the plot doesn’t make any sense at all. ” British Horror Films

“It’s slow-moving and parts are senseless and silly.” Psychotronic Video magazine

The Asylum is about as backwards-looking as it could be, a deliberate throwback to Hammer/Amicus (with hints of giallo) in the woefully mistaken belief that what horror fans wanted was a rehash of past glories.” MJ Simpson, Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema 1997-2008, Hemlock Books, 2012

“Technically smooth on an obviously slim budget, The Asylum is just as good as the Hammer/Amicus UK horror pics of the ‘70s that it clearly emulates […] By modern standards, however, that means only tacky-to-OK.” Variety

Choice dialogue:

Percival Arbuthnot: “Survival of the fittest, Snape, survival of the fittest!”

Percival  Arbuthnot: “I’m sorry, mother… I didn’t mean it.”

Father Matthew: “I wish I could avoid the cliché of the deformed face belonging to the deformed mind…”

Neville: “Are you the filth? No offence.”

Doctor Adams: “You must remember. You must remember in order to forget.”

Cast and characters:

  • Steffanie Pitt … Jenny
  • Nick Waring … William
  • Ingrid Pitt … Isobelle, the medium
  • Patrick Mower … Doctor Adams
  • Robin Askwith … Neville
  • Colin Baker … Percival Arbuthnot
  • Chloë Annett … Rose
  • Paul Reynolds … Snape
  • Jean Boht … Mrs Brindle
  • Robin Parkinson … Arthur
  • Kevin Ashley … Orderly
  • Hannah Bridges … Little Jenny
  • Antonia Corrigan … Little Rose
  • Carolina Giammetta … Tessa
  • Andrew Hasley … Inmate
  • Denis Huett … Mr Brindle
  • Dan Jeiphes … Male Inmate
  • Penny Linfield … Sandra (as Penn Linfield)
  • Sadie Nine … Mrs Adams
  • Jane Shakespeare … Emma Brindle
  • Terence Taplin … Father Matthew (as Terry Taplin)
  • Christopher Whitehouse … Warden

Principal filming:

July and August 1999, in Coulsdon, Surrey, England

Technical details:

  • 99 minutes

Notes:

This film should not be confused with Asylum, the vastly superior 1972 Amicus production.

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