The Attic Expeditions: A Dream Within A Nightmare

“This movie is sort of a doppelganger; it twists and turns in on itself, a snake biting in its own tail, and it’s hard to know what’s real.” Jeffrey Combs

So, what are “The Attic Expeditions” like? This is really hard to tell because of its very unique style. The movie of which it reminds me the most is Roman Polanski’s “The Tenant” (What? You haven’t seen this masterpiece of surreal cinema yet? Then go and get it at the video store tonight!). In both movies, the main character seems to be a victim of a conspiracy, but towards the end there is more and more evidence that we are seeing nothing more than manifestations of a paranoid, deranged mind. But still there remain doubts about what is real or not. This uncertainty creates fear; the movie is scary without having to rely on monsters or ghosts. Instead, very common fears come to life: A hand that suddenly grabs you out of an empty trunk and drags you inside, waking up during a brain operation, or hearing footsteps from the attic at night.

In all these moments, Trevor is not in control of the situation. Instead he is locked in, tied up or chased by a mad murderer. He tries to find out what’s happening, but others are pulling the strings. Maybe that’s why Andras Jones’ characters remains a bit pale throughout the story, especially in contrast to the outstanding performances of Green, Combs and Raimi. Apart from their acting talent, these three are the ones with the juicy roles, the cool dialogue and the eye-catching outfits. How could one not get distracted by Seth Green’s orange hair, when he walks in a light blue corridor?

By the way, colors and light play an important role in creating the atmosphere in this movie. We have cold and bright blue in the hospital scenes, cheerful orange and pink in the living room of the “House of Love”, and the warm black & red of classical horror movies in the secret chamber. In some scenes, the time course was altered by using very short cuts and timelapse effects, which supported the surreal and dreamlike atmosphere. In the end, the surprising ending leaves the audience puzzled and disturbed in their seats, and many spectators will certainly watch this fascinating movie for a second time, to explore all its depths and layers – including me!

Nicole Rebsher, Cinenygma Special

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