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Keyhole Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

January 22, 2014
Ok, so it's the Odyssey but in a house. And they're all dead. Right? Or at least Ulysses is dying? Isn't he? Ok, maybe he just died. Slowly. I don't know. There, I said it. Except I am right, it's all about Ulysses's life but more-so his regrets before dying. Probably. What do you mean you've never heard of Guy Maddin? No, me neither, but apparently he's a big deal. I feel I've been missing out. I like an odd film just as much as the next guy doesn't, so it was fine by me. It's a visual treat and the music was hauntingly beautiful. It lost me in the beginning, also a bit at the end and for quite a lot of the middle but it's art, I did art at University so I can say 'I get it'. I have credentials to prove it. Anyway, be gone with you, you cultureless swines, go watch a 'Blockbuster' or something and leave us clever people to our art.
366weirdmovies
366weirdmovies

Super Reviewer

August 15, 2012
A gangster ventures through his house searching for his wife, encountering tragic family memories along the way, in this surrealistic version of the Odyssey. Contains some cool ideas---Isabella Rosselini keeps her naked father chained to her bed in a sick psycho symbiosis---but it's even more confusing than Guy Maddin's usual offerings, without that spark of mysterious magic that animates his best films. Only for those who are already Maddin fans; this is not the place to start exploring his world.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

June 15, 2013
"Keyhole" starts with the police cornering a gang of criminals in a house on a rainy night. Taking charge, Big Ed(Daniel Enright) separates the dead from the living, sending the former out to be taken care of. When Ulysses(Jason Patric), the boss, finally puts in an appearance, he takes care to get warm clothes for Denny(Brooke Palsson). He is also wondering about the state of his wife Hyacinth(Isabella Rossellini). So, he takes Denny and a hostage upstairs with him.

If I was being unusually silly, I would say a lot of the anger at "The Artist" winning so many Academy Awards was due to the continual snubs of Guy Maddin's films. In any case, with his latest film, the partially successful "Keyhole," he moves things ahead by a couple of decades to incorporate every kind of genre popular in the 40's, short of musical, making the formerly implicit explicit in this psychosexual noir funhouse and actually manages to connect a good deal of the dots. And Maddin has the right lead actor in Jason Patric who not only has the requisite square jaw but also the ability to deal with every bit of weirdness thrown his way. That does not include the references to 'The Odyssey.'(Yes, there is a Cyclops. No, you do not want to know.) Now, if someone could just explain the naked old guy in chains.
John B

Super Reviewer

April 12, 2012
Maddeningly Maddin. It's too much and I'm going to call him on it. Can we have a film that isn't in painful black and white with sharp scene changes and distractions that don't add to the "plot"?
thepersonwhowatchesmovies
June 13, 2012
Because of a coincidentally large amount of horror movies viewed over the last two weeks, I figured why not, if only temporarily, make a recurring feature about it. I'll try to post one at least once a week. If you have any suggestions or recommendations for upcoming films, please leave them in the comment section below.


What an odd little experiment.

From the mind of the seemingly indisputably, seriously disturbed surrealist filmmaker Guy Maddin, comes the perverse bizarre nightmare of a neo-noir Keyhole; a film whose very plot description seems like a rejected ramble for the equally strange, though much more likable, SNL character Stefon. A group of 30's styled gangsters led by the charismatic Ulysses (Jason Patrick) hide out in a dreamlike haunted mansion after committing an unmentioned crime. However, Ulysses has ulterior motives when choosing the hideout; he is a former resident of the mansion, and seeks forgiveness from the ghost of his wife for the death of their three children. Though that synopsis may sound relatively normal, here are a few more unmentioned plot points and characters which should change your opinion fairly quickly...


1. The movie is narrated by the ghost of a nude, obese elderly man, who is chained to his daughter's bed

2. Maddin seems to have an obsession with pointless perversity. Evidence of this can be found in the film's multiple unnecessary nude scenes, and an even better example would be at one point an erect penis can be shown sticking out of a random wall. Most of this is never explained, and serves no real purpose.

3. Many plot points, such as the unmentioned crime which drove the gangsters to the mansion, along with entire characters, are seemingly forgotten as the film progresses.

4. Several twists regarding character identities, most of which make little sense considering the events which came before the reveal.


This is a movie which I feel uncomfortable calling a "movie." Instead, it's an experiment; a stylistic attempt to make the audience feel as uncomfortable as humanly possible; to visually recreate a nightmare. Performances don't necessarily factor into the film's goal; every actor plays the material as over-the-top dramatic as possible, and does little to turn their character into something three dimensional. Keyhole is a hodgepodge of strangeness for the reasons I listed above, and doesn't necessarily try to be anything more than that. Though perhaps Maddin would say the film was designed to tell a story how certain characters move from Point A to Point B, from my experiences with the film I'm not necessarily sure. However, in terms of making the audience feel incredibly uncomfortable, he certainly succeeded. Unless you fully understand what you're going to watch before hand, you might not want to look through the Keyhole.

Grade: C
Level of Terror: Unsettling
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

June 15, 2013
"Keyhole" starts with the police cornering a gang of criminals in a house on a rainy night. Taking charge, Big Ed(Daniel Enright) separates the dead from the living, sending the former out to be taken care of. When Ulysses(Jason Patric), the boss, finally puts in an appearance, he takes care to get warm clothes for Denny(Brooke Palsson). He is also wondering about the state of his wife Hyacinth(Isabella Rossellini). So, he takes Denny and a hostage upstairs with him.

If I was being unusually silly, I would say a lot of the anger at "The Artist" winning so many Academy Awards was due to the continual snubs of Guy Maddin's films. In any case, with his latest film, the partially successful "Keyhole," he moves things ahead by a couple of decades to incorporate every kind of genre popular in the 40's, short of musical, making the formerly implicit explicit in this psychosexual noir funhouse and actually manages to connect a good deal of the dots. And Maddin has the right lead actor in Jason Patric who not only has the requisite square jaw but also the ability to deal with every bit of weirdness thrown his way. That does not include the references to 'The Odyssey.'(Yes, there is a Cyclops. No, you do not want to know.) Now, if someone could just explain the naked old guy in chains.
June 4, 2013
Strange, confusing, and weird. No thanks.
March 9, 2013
If this is what you call an art movie than count me out. This goes on my list as another waist of time
October 17, 2012
This surreal romp confuses a bit more than it entertains.
November 8, 2012
The newest experiment from Guy Maddin is thick soup of gangster film references & ghost stories that never really finds a point of focus. Rent My Winnipeg instead
October 29, 2012
A work of genius not for the timid
October 18, 2012
Precious few do Dream Noir like Maddin.
October 9, 2012
FIRST MOVIE I HAVE EVER WALKED OUT OFF! ZERO STARS
July 29, 2012
Keyhole is a reminder that Guy Maddin's 2nd act career (starting with his short Heart of the World) is leagues better than his previous output which is charming but not as radical as it should be which can be compared like how Tom Waits was before Swordfishtrombones and how he was afterwards. Keyhole acts like a comedic noir tribute to Last Year at Marienbad and features puzzles that might be found in early 90s point and click adventure games that you had to get cheats for. Keyhole might not be on par with My Winnipeg or Saddest Music in the World but to me, it is at least as good as Brand Upon Brain if not better.
May 14, 2012
Yikes. What a waste of time.
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