Movie Review: Muse (2017)

August 25, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Lit Prof. Samuel Salomon (now there’s a name that would make ol’ Stan Lee green with envy that he didn’t thunk of it first…oh, and he’s played by Elliot Cowan) is one grief stricken mother fucker. You see, a year ago his girlfriend bought the farm and he hasn’t been able to work since! Along with that major bummer, he keeps having nightmares of a mystery woman gettin’ hers at the hands of some arcane acolytes during one of your occult rituals that the kids dig so much these days. As fate and fright flick conventions would have it; the woman turns up dead in the really real world in the same manner of demise as peeped in our hero’s dream. Because common sense has never been an attribute of any protagonist in a horror film ever, Sammy visits the crime seen and encounters Rachel (Franka Potente); a lady that had the same damn nocturnal torment as S-dawg! The dynamic duo team up and go in search of the identity of the murdered women, but will they be able to survive the monstrous machinations of the coven what caused that bit of nasty biz; namely the Muses of lore!
Muse is an interesting picture for sure. Brought to us by co-writer/director Jaume Balagueró (who was responsible for neo-classic horror pic [Rec]) and co-writer Fernando Navarro (working with ideas from the novel by José Carlos Somoza), the world we are introduced to is dark, deep, drenched in paranormal goodness, and grounded with emotional and engaging performances from Cowan and Potente and a multitude of literary references (which makes sense given Sam’s profession). Adding to the literal “dark” is wonderfully moody and atmospheric cinematography by Pablo Rosso and a fantastic sense of mythology and world building surrounding our eponymous antagonists, the Muses…oh, and there’s some decent gore as well!
On the negative side, since this was based on a novel (and from my seconds of research a moderately sizable one at that) things tend to play out like the Reader’s Digest version of events; i.e. scenes appear to be truncated and play at breakneck speed that makes the viewer feel like a things were possibly left out…though admittedly the story does make sense as presented (and I have never read the book, so maybe some of you boils n’ ghouls can help your’s cruelly out in this department).
To sum this shizz up; Muse is a cerebral, dark, and moody paranormal thriller with a great take on established mythological characters, with solid acting an film making. If you are looking for a break from the slashers and creature features that populate the horror biz and want to use your brain a smidge rather than putting it in park, then I would highly recommend Muse!
 

 


 

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