It looks very beautiful (the costumes are great), but the set designers seem to have ignored the point of the panopticon setting. Margaret is perhaps a bit too assertive, Selina perhaps not serene enough, and the subplot of Margaret's proposal offer lessens the pathos of her character from the book, but it is perhaps more problematic for such a prominent media to portray a lesbian as a plain spinster, as we are trying to do away with old assumptions in the new millennium.
However, the overall atmosphere of control and oppression is still put across well, and at least they didn't tamper with the ending too much.
A noxious pile of shite.
The acting is so bad it's not even laughable, especially from the leading lady (whose sole qualification is that she's a busty blonde who can deliver her lines in a sultry monotone when she's not screaming). The film does try to distract you from the acting however, by the sheer technical ineptitude of its out-of-synch soundtrack. Perhaps the sultry monotone isn't even 'Beverly Hills' real voice, because all the actors look and sound as if they've been dubbed by equally hopeless voice actors. It also gives us dramatic playing of an out of tune piano.
Then there's the cardboard and rope special effects, and a rubber monster suit that even early series' of Doctor Who would be ashamed of. Let's not even mention the script or the dialogue.
B-movies can be very entertaining, but for me this is not one of them. I had more fun writing this review than I did watching the film.
The opening credits are very slick, but it does seem to go downhill from there. There are a few scenes which do manage to create an appropriate creepy, uneasy ambience, but most of the film doesn't incorporate them, or other bits of potential, to its advantage. Somehow the plot manages to be both a touch unusual and mundane at the same time. I felt that the climax struggled under the weight of contradictory messages regarding gender responsibilities, conception and abortion, and though the cast gave good performances ultimately all their effort was difficult to appreciate.