The Ugly Reviews

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    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
    Aug 29, 2013

    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.

    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.

  • Feb 10, 2013

    Riveting. I thought this movie was going to be another stupid horror flick but instead it drew me in. It's kinda weird. I did like it tho.

    Riveting. I thought this movie was going to be another stupid horror flick but instead it drew me in. It's kinda weird. I did like it tho.

  • Jan 31, 2013

    One of New Zealand's few Horror exports proved to be one of the best genre films to be received in 1997: THE UGLY. Scott Reynolds' chilling psychological thriller shares much of the same power and intensity as the similarly-themed THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and OPEN YOUR EYES, with added elements of ghastly horror. Serial killer Simon Cartwright is interviewed by a beautiful young psychologist at his own bequest, hoping to receive a reevaluation of his mental health that will help to set him free. Dr. Shumaker pushes Simon to reveal the motivation behind his patternless killing spree, but the deeper she probes, the closer she gets to the shocking truth! Simon Cartwright is an excellent addition to the long line of screen killers. Smart. Calculative. But highly sympathetic. Paolo Rotondo brings out each of these qualities smashingly, and manages to earn the viewer's trust despite his murderous past. Even throughout Simon's reconstructed memories, we are always left guessing as to which of the events have actually occurred, and which have been manipulated to suit his own sinister purposes. "The Visitors" and "The Ugly" may only be cunning tools used in his defense, but Reynolds is sure to leave this ambiguity up to the audience to decide. Along with the director's elegant interlacing of past and present events, Victoria Kelly builds upon the suspense with her elevating score. This mixture of psychological terror and outright horror will be perfectly suited for most Horror fans.

    One of New Zealand's few Horror exports proved to be one of the best genre films to be received in 1997: THE UGLY. Scott Reynolds' chilling psychological thriller shares much of the same power and intensity as the similarly-themed THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and OPEN YOUR EYES, with added elements of ghastly horror. Serial killer Simon Cartwright is interviewed by a beautiful young psychologist at his own bequest, hoping to receive a reevaluation of his mental health that will help to set him free. Dr. Shumaker pushes Simon to reveal the motivation behind his patternless killing spree, but the deeper she probes, the closer she gets to the shocking truth! Simon Cartwright is an excellent addition to the long line of screen killers. Smart. Calculative. But highly sympathetic. Paolo Rotondo brings out each of these qualities smashingly, and manages to earn the viewer's trust despite his murderous past. Even throughout Simon's reconstructed memories, we are always left guessing as to which of the events have actually occurred, and which have been manipulated to suit his own sinister purposes. "The Visitors" and "The Ugly" may only be cunning tools used in his defense, but Reynolds is sure to leave this ambiguity up to the audience to decide. Along with the director's elegant interlacing of past and present events, Victoria Kelly builds upon the suspense with her elevating score. This mixture of psychological terror and outright horror will be perfectly suited for most Horror fans.

  • Jan 03, 2013

    Authentically original and twisted little gem--A dark dream of a B-Movie!!

    Authentically original and twisted little gem--A dark dream of a B-Movie!!

  • Oct 14, 2012

    Stylistically surreal, generally bizarre, yet strangely compelling.

    Stylistically surreal, generally bizarre, yet strangely compelling.

  • Sep 02, 2012

    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.

    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.

  • Apr 27, 2012

    The Ugly (Scott Reynolds, 1997) New Zealand-based director Scott Reynolds released The Ugly, his first feature, in 1997, and what a feature it is. While it wasn't hugely successful upon initial release, it has developed a rabid cult following over the intervening years, and a well-deserved one at that. The film centers around a series of interviews between accused serial killer Simon Cartwright (Riverworld's Paolo Rotondo) and Dr. Karen Schumaker (Act of God's Rebecca Hobbs) that reveal how Simon went from being a shy, emotionally-abused boy to being a possibly-nuts possibly-multiple-murderer. And those bits, which involve some wonderful flashback sequences, are reason enough to watch the film. But what really sets The Ugly apart is the present-day asylum scenes, which reverberate with the same surreal atmosphere as the flashbacks. I have no idea what kind of building this actually is, but the director's office is only reachable by a little bridge over a stream? And the security guards are shirtless tattooed muscleheads? This is great stuff, it exists for no reason other than to give the movie texture and depth, and it's the kind of thing 99% of directors wouldn't even think of, much less think of adding to what is on the surface nothing more than a low-budget possibly-supernatural thriller. That's what sets The Ugly apart, and why, fifteen years after its initial release, it's popularity continues to grow. *** 1/2

    The Ugly (Scott Reynolds, 1997) New Zealand-based director Scott Reynolds released The Ugly, his first feature, in 1997, and what a feature it is. While it wasn't hugely successful upon initial release, it has developed a rabid cult following over the intervening years, and a well-deserved one at that. The film centers around a series of interviews between accused serial killer Simon Cartwright (Riverworld's Paolo Rotondo) and Dr. Karen Schumaker (Act of God's Rebecca Hobbs) that reveal how Simon went from being a shy, emotionally-abused boy to being a possibly-nuts possibly-multiple-murderer. And those bits, which involve some wonderful flashback sequences, are reason enough to watch the film. But what really sets The Ugly apart is the present-day asylum scenes, which reverberate with the same surreal atmosphere as the flashbacks. I have no idea what kind of building this actually is, but the director's office is only reachable by a little bridge over a stream? And the security guards are shirtless tattooed muscleheads? This is great stuff, it exists for no reason other than to give the movie texture and depth, and it's the kind of thing 99% of directors wouldn't even think of, much less think of adding to what is on the surface nothing more than a low-budget possibly-supernatural thriller. That's what sets The Ugly apart, and why, fifteen years after its initial release, it's popularity continues to grow. *** 1/2

  • Apr 25, 2012

    The Ugly is a relatively unknown New Zealand psycho horror film from 1997. A psychologist is sent to a psychiatric hospital at the request of a notorious serial killer. Simon is considered the most dangerous man in the hospital and is under restraints at all times and this new female shrink attempts unravel his mind . He wants to share his story and the film recalls his life. From a tormented child who suffered a life of school yard bullying and an abusive mother to an adult who is overlooked and ignored. As the film's title suggests, the movie is an allusion to The Ugly Duckling. At the time of its release the film received a lot of acclaim and first time director, Scott Reynolds, was touted as an up-and-comer. Sadly he's done very little since. Such a shame too because The Ugly is a highly original film which offers a surreal and unsettling vision. One oddly effective theme is the bloodshed. Simon's murders are brutal and graphic, however all of the blood is black. There isn't a drop of red to be seen. This has generated a lot of discussion and opinions amongst audiences but my interpretation is that he no longer see's people as human... that our blood is simply the oil that keeps the machine going. The use of shadows, colours and silhouettes is also effective and The Ugly stands out as a unique New Zealand flick. If you ever come across it, give it a go. It's pretty chilling stuff.

    The Ugly is a relatively unknown New Zealand psycho horror film from 1997. A psychologist is sent to a psychiatric hospital at the request of a notorious serial killer. Simon is considered the most dangerous man in the hospital and is under restraints at all times and this new female shrink attempts unravel his mind . He wants to share his story and the film recalls his life. From a tormented child who suffered a life of school yard bullying and an abusive mother to an adult who is overlooked and ignored. As the film's title suggests, the movie is an allusion to The Ugly Duckling. At the time of its release the film received a lot of acclaim and first time director, Scott Reynolds, was touted as an up-and-comer. Sadly he's done very little since. Such a shame too because The Ugly is a highly original film which offers a surreal and unsettling vision. One oddly effective theme is the bloodshed. Simon's murders are brutal and graphic, however all of the blood is black. There isn't a drop of red to be seen. This has generated a lot of discussion and opinions amongst audiences but my interpretation is that he no longer see's people as human... that our blood is simply the oil that keeps the machine going. The use of shadows, colours and silhouettes is also effective and The Ugly stands out as a unique New Zealand flick. If you ever come across it, give it a go. It's pretty chilling stuff.

  • Apr 18, 2012

    An odd film, but well made. You should atleast watch this film before you judge it.

    An odd film, but well made. You should atleast watch this film before you judge it.

  • Feb 22, 2012

    Stylistic and strange, and was the black blood an artistic choice or what?

    Stylistic and strange, and was the black blood an artistic choice or what?