6 Souls is a chilling supernatural thriller that takes a hold of you and refuses to let go. Julianne Moore stars as forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Cara Harding, who is self described as “a doctor of science, but a woman of God”. When her father Dr. Harding (Jeffrey DeMunn) requests her assistance with a new patient, Adam (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Cara reluctantly gives into the case. Adam suffers from multiple personalities which is an on-going debate between the Harding doctors. Cara’s pride oversteps the boundaries as she refuses to accept her father’s theories on Adam’s obvious transformations. The harder she tries to prove Adam as a fraud, the easier it is for evil to entangle her until she finds herself suffocating under the truth.
Jonathan’s transformation between Adam and the other personalities is nearly flawless. You forget that you are watching one actor play multiple parts. I expected to have reservations about the multiple personalities, but after being jolted into the first transition I completely forgot it was Jonathan. I saw each and every personality as an individual character. Not only does each personality have a different accent, but the way Jonathan is able to manipulate his expressions is awe inspiring. He bounces between vulnerable and malicious within mere moments. It chills you to your very core.
The film begins with Cara arguing for the death penalty of a prisoner. Julianne plays her as both meek and soft-spoken leaving us to believe that her opinion is mostly taken for granted. There is an incredible transformation throughout the film with her character’s arc taking her from weak, to determined, strong and fearless. However, her actions put both herself and her loved ones in danger. She unintentionally blurs the line between good and evil in trying to find the truth.
Jeffrey plays the loveable and ornery patriarch of the family. His excitement for Adam’s case is much like that of a kid in a candy store. He realizes quickly that he is onto something so powerful that it has the potential to shatter the common understanding of multiple personality syndrome. Adam could be his ticket to greatness, but he also has a strong desire to help this struggling man. He wholeheartedly believes Adam almost as much as his daughter doubts him.
The chemistry between the cast is remarkable. The ensemble is rounded out with Nathan Corddry (Cara’s brother), Brooklynn Proulx (Cara’s daughter), Brian Anthony Wilson and Frances Conroy. It is refreshing to watch a film where every character has a purpose. They each move the story along as we descend deeper into the underbelly of madness.
I love the creepy reflection shots throughout the film and the slow zooms. The closer you are brought into a scene, the more you try to physically withdraw from the screen. You can almost feel the chill of the winter wind slapping the leaves and branches. The earth tones scattered throughout the costumes and sets match the feel of dread woven within the scenes. The characters are perfectly placed on the chessboard, but we never find out who is moving the pieces until the end.
Do not let your guard down with this film. It takes you on a gruesome journey which is better experienced with the lights on. I made the mistake of watching it with the lights off, and it took a good fifteen minutes for me to brave the short walk to the light switch after the end credits. I would recommend this film to those who enjoy a good, scary, supernatural thriller. However, if you are bothered by gore or the supernatural (including witchcraft) this will give you nightmares. It is reminiscent of an old Kubrick film that writhers into your very being. 6 Souls is the kind of film that leaves you mildly traumatized.
*6 Souls will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 2nd.