"The Legend of Lucy Keyes"
Okay, folks--it's October.
This is prime time for horror flicks. We've got Halloween bare weeks
away, and those early nights spent locked in the house aren't all
that much farther off. Thus, what I'm gonna do for you is a godsend
and a blessing--I'm gonna give you the line on one of the downright
creepiest movies I've seen lately-- "The Legend of Lucy Keyes".
So what we have here plotwise is a couple moving to the country
to get a fresh start. Few better places for a fresh start than the
country. Except in this case, our young couple and their two young
daughters are going to run afoul of a two hundred and fifty year
old legend. The section of the country they've settled in has a
long, storied...and dark...history. The family will therefore have
to get to the bottom of the history involving the town and the land
and discovering the horrific secret the town's holding.
And frankly, they really crank it up. From even the first minute,
they'll bring out solid ghost effects, even better backup effects,
and great background music that will really have you immersed in
the plot right from the very beginning. In fact, the opening minute
sequence is so good, you’ll actually see it again later on
in the movie. And not in a flashback. Dying for me to explain? Oh
no…you’ll have to see for yourself.
In other words, this is creepy and I'm just watching it from behind
a television. This is perhaps the truest hallmark of successful
horror. Can we, the audience, be scared just watching it? Without
even having to consider how we'd feel in just such a situation?
When you reach that point, you know you’re in for a truly
scary time, and “The Legend of Lucy Keyes” manages to
do just that.
More interestingly, a small line of text within the first three
minutes reveals that this is, in fact, based on a true story. And
that's all the more unsettling. It was creepy enough just watching
it--knowing that even a fraction of this may in fact be true is
knowledge that doesn't sit well.
Even when they're just building atmosphere and plot exposition--like
they will through much of the first half-hour--they'll do a good
job of it. Because they'll also intersperse a healthy body of shock
value through the narrative, as you'll see at more than a few locations
And, the plot will become significantly more complex than anyone
saw coming. They'll be tacking on political intrigue (okay, small-town
political intrigue, but still!) and some very shady business arrangements,
which ramps this up past the realm of mere ghost story. Which isn’t
to say that “The Legend of Lucy Keyes” doesn’t
work as a ghost story—anything but! But what it does do is
work as a ghost story, as a political thriller, as a corporate thriller
(shades of “Boiler Room”, anyone?), and as any combination
of the above. This adds a note of quality that most movies struggle
and ultimately fail to achieve.
The ending is an explosive intermingling of death and shocks, leading
up to an incredible close. It's a spectacularly well-crafted ending
to a spectacularly well-crafted film.
The special features include Spanish subtitles, audio options, commentary,
a behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes, filmographies, and
a trailer for "The Legend of Lucy Keyes".
All in all, I'm seriously impressed with "The Legend of Lucy
Keyes". One part ghost story, one part political thriller,
and every part fantastic plotline, this is a legend that needs to
of Lucy Keyes
Directed by John Stimpson
Written by John Stimpson
Starring Julie Delpy, Justin Theroux, Brooke Adams, Mark Boone Junior
Produced by Mark Donadio, J. Todd Harris, Miriam Marcus
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