The Ugly (1997)



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Movie Info

Housed inside the grimy walls of a horrific New Zealand asylum there sits a serial killer waiting to be determined sane enough to stand trial. The mental hospital is run by the sinister Dr. Marlowe, who looks the other way when his thuggish orderlies occasionally rough up the inmates. Into this hellish place comes the cocky Dr. Karen Shoemaker, a psychiatrist famed for having made major breakthroughs with another murderer. Though Marlowe thinks that no one could reach Simon Cartwright, the killer, Shoemaker is determined to try, so, with Marlowe watching behind a two-way mirror, she begins the first of many chilling sessions with the unrepentant Simon. A horror film that draws some of its best bits from other slasher movies, while also adding a few interesting twists of its own, this directorial debut from New Zealand director Scott Reynolds follows the winding course of these sessions, presenting pieces from Simon's grim life and graphically gory murders via flashback. As time passes, Shoemaker comes to trust the placid-seeming Simon and asks that his shackles be removed. Shortly thereafter she learns that he hears voices urgently telling him to kill and kill again. Dr. Shoemaker must then work even harder to control her dangerous patient and her growing terror.

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Paolo Rotondo
as Simon Cartwright
Rebecca Hobbs
as Dr. Karen Schumaker
Roy Ward
as Dr. Marlowe
Paul Glover
as Phillip
P. Glover
as Phillip
Jennifer Ward-Lealand
as Evelyn Cartwright, Simon's Mother
Cath McWhirter
as Helen Ann Miller
Carolyn Beaver
as Helen's Friend
Caelem Pope
as Simon (age 4)
Vanessa Byrnes
as Julie (age 25)
Jon Brazier
as Frank the Vet
Finn Johnson
as Future Cop
Phillip Brown
as Future Cop
Tau Luke
as Future Cop
Tim Barlow
as Police Photographer
Sam Wallace
as Simon (age 13)
Aaron Buskin
as Roland/Ringleader Bully
Oliver Hodges
as Bully No. 3
Beth Allen
as Julie (age 13)
Chris Bailey
as Ed Daley
Gary Mackay
as Man in Park
Steve Hall
as Worker Thug No. 1
Shane Bessant
as Worker Thug No. 2
Katrina Browne
as Woman in the Floral Dress
Yvonne Dudman
as Melinda Jackson
Frances Chan
as Simon's Victim
Scott Wills
as Simon's Victim
Jenny Ashton
as Simon's Victim
Matt Cornelius
as Simon's Victim
Hugh D'Calveley
as Victim in Alleyway
Sara Pivac
as Deaf Girl
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Critic Reviews for The Ugly

All Critics (5)

There's fun to be had for horror junkies, but others may want to wait for Reynolds' next picture.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Ugly

By New Zealand's standard, this is a pretty decent film, but in reality, this is nothing but a failed attempt of mimicking X Files. The film was extremely confusing, nothing made any sense at all, the characters were all unconvincing, I don't understand anything that goes on in the film, I was pretty bored 30 minutes in. An NC-17 rating? Are you kidding me? There was not a single boob or decent gore, how can this get a NC-17 rating? Extremely disappointed to say the least.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer


New Zealand shocker that kept me glued to the screen the entire time right up until its unsurprising and unimpressive ending. And then there's the black blood. Was that an aesthetic choice? Whatever the reason, it was annoying and distracting.

A.D. Villarreal
A.D. Villarreal

Super Reviewer


Weird, but strangely compelling. Good viewing

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

An amazing psychological horror film with possible supernatural undertones. Scott Reynolds has unfortunately completely disappeared after the Weinsteins screwed him on his next great film, Heaven, but this film shows the work of a great talent. A really well told story with strong performances and great directing. Stylish, without detracting from the film and bizarre without seeming forced this is one of the best "serial killer" films out there. Also, one of the few films where I actually do empathize with the villain (usually I could give a rat's ass about their reasons if they are a murderer) which makes the payoff so much more satisfying. Great film.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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