Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 3 out of 5
Trauma (2004)
15Contains horror scenes and strong language

Colin Firth in a gripping psychological thriller from the director of My Little Eye? Pull the other one, you're probably thinking. But the most exciting thing about Trauma is just how disturbed and disturbing the former Mr Darcy can be when he leaves his jodhpurs at home. Firth plays Ben, a bereaved husband haunted by grief in the East End of London and slowly falling in love with next-door neighbour Charlotte (Mena Suvari). If it sounds like Last Tango in Walford, think again: this is a genuinely unsettling psychodrama.

Waking in hospital from a coma, Ben discovers that his wife (Naomie Harris) has been killed in a car accident. Haunted by his memories and his guilt (he was driving), he struggles to pull his life back together as the rest of the world simultaneously mourns the death of famous pop star Lauren Paris. He's plagued by nagging questions: Who's the strange man in the hooded Parka who keeps following him? And why does a medium say his wife isn't properly dead?

"CHILLING TAKE ON CELEBRITY, DEATH AND DESPAIR"

Shot in compassionless icy blues and greys, Trauma is a bold psychological horror movie - far bolder than the seemingly bland presence of Firth and Suvari might suggest (one word: spiders). Swapping his breeches for a lean and haunted look, three days' stubble, and the wild eyes of a madman, Firth has never been better. And Evans - a director whose debut feature House Of America showed so much talent - proves that he's shaping into the dark prince of British horror cinema.

A broken mirror of a movie, its fractured storytelling makes for riveting viewing. Boring the camera lens into the damaged brain of his protagonist with the pinpoint accuracy of a power drill, Trauma delivers a chilling take on celebrity, death and despair. Judging by this evidence, Evans may yet make the first British horror masterpiece of the new century.

End Credits

Director: Marc Evans

Writer: Richard Smith

Stars: Colin Firth, Mena Suvari, Naomie Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Sean Harris

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Length: 94 minutes

Cinema: 17 September 2004

Country: UK

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