A Demon in My View (1991, aka The Man Next Door)

A Demon in My View (1991, aka The Man Next Door)

Synopsis:

Set in Europe, this psychological thriller is about a seemingly harmless loner (Anthony Perkins, Psycho) who is really the man dubbed by the press as “The Kenbourne Killer.” He’s responsible for the brutal murders of more than two dozen women over a twenty-five-year span. No one suspects the quiet middle-age man, that is, until a writer (Uwe Bohm, My Best Enemy) starts paying closer attention to his unassuming neighbor.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Filmed in Germany, A Demon in My View (aka The Man Next Door) is a nicely understated thriller grounded by the fine work of its leading man.

In his next-to-last film, Anthony Perkins plays a character not that much different from Norman Bates. Perkins, of course, has done these parts ad nauseam. It goes without saying that he is perfectly casted. Perkins makes a valiant effort to create an entirely new character. Kudos to writer-director Petra Haffter for trying to breathe new life into old clichés. He almost succeeds. Haffter puts most of his attention on character development, not horror, which may irritate fans of gore.

Although the script is far from perfect, technically speaking, this is a good movie. Unlike his bombastic work for de Palma, composer Pino Donaggio’s (Carrie and Dressed to Kill) music score is low-key, but effective. The atmospheric cinematography is by Frank Brühne. Production designed is by Josef Sanktjohanser.

Sophie Ward — daughter of British actor Simon Ward (Young Winston and Supergirl) — plays Bohm’s married girlfriend. The cast also includes Stratford Johns (The Lair of the White Worm), Deborah Lacey (Straight Outta Compton), James Aubrey (The Hunger), and Michael Simkins (Topsy-Turvy).

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

A Demon in My View is not perfect, but it does contain enough goodies to satisfy fans of the macabre. And it is always fun to see Perkins play somebody disturbed. Color, 110 minutes, Rated R.

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