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Alarm


Rod Lott January 13th, 2011

 Imagine David Fincher's "Panic Room" being plastered with Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," and you have the Irish thriller "Alarm," more or less.

Writer/director Gerard Stembridge puts his female protagonist through the ringer in his tale of suburban paranoia, some of it quite justified.

Still reeling from a home invasion that resulted in the death of her father, Molly (Ruth Bradley) buys a house of her own in a pretty, picturesque neighborhood far from the madding crowd of the big city of Dublin. A near-immediate break-in pushes her to purchase an alarm system — something she didn't think she'd have to do.

And what good did it do? A string of burglaries follows, even to the point of her new boyfriend (Aidan Turner of TV's "Being Human") being attacked while she cowers in fear on the stairs. It doesn't help that the alarm appears to go off in the middle of night just for the hell of it, making for many a sleepless night. And, hey, what's up with all those spooky neighbors?

Why someone is menacing our mousy heroine isn't something I'll reveal. I will say that the cause for alarm is certainly unique and unexpected. In suspense film these days, that's about all you can ask for. The weirdness of the story and its cruel twists mitigate some acting deficiencies. I've never seen Bradley before, but I liked her. —Rod Lott


 
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