It's been documented in movies as varied in tone as Enough, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Monster and Bad Santa that women just can't help but fall in love with the bad boy. Asylum will explore the very dark side of such dark love and erotic obsession.
Based on a novel by Patrick McGrath (who also wrote the novel on which Spider was based), the story in Asylum is viewed through the eyes of Dr. Peter Cleave (Sir Ian McKellen), a psychiatrist at a maximum security mental hospital in rural England. He observes the transformation of one Stella Raphael (Natasha Richardson), a sophisticated but restless woman who has moved to the hospital with her forensic psychiatrist husband Max (Hugh Bonneville) and son Charlie in the summer of 1959.
Stella grows increasingly dissatisfied with her husband and her daily drudgery as she desperately misses the big-city exhilaration that she knew before the move to the country. She finds escape when she meets Edgar Stark (Marton Csokas), an attractive patient and talented sculptor who is working to rebuild the asylum's dilapidated Victorian conservatory.
Even after learning that Edgar brutally murdered his wife in a jealous and psychotic rage, Stella still finds her passion for the fascinating man growing, so much so that her love will eventually pit her against the world and its conventions. She battles her husband, her child, and even the asylum. The choices she makes have potentially devastating effects.
This darkly-themed film is being distributed by Paramount Classics, the indie arm of the larger studio. It should find a small but devoted audience amongst fans of small, British movies. (Kim Hollis/BOP)