Gene Jones and Kristina Klebe in Dementia

FILM REVIEW: DEMENTIA (2015)

By Dixielord

Newly released on VoD is Dementia, the latest film from IFC Midnight Films and director Mike Testin. Dementia stars Kristina Klebe (Proxy) and Gene Jones (The Sacrament). The plot revolves around Jones’ character George Lockhart, a veteran of the Vietnam war, who has memory issues, and after suffering a stroke is no longer able to care for himself. Jones has a rocky relationship with his son and grand daughter so he is placed in the care of Michelle, a home nurse, played by Kristina Klebe. Klebe seems to be a kindly person eager to help Jones, but he eventually finds himself trapped in his own home and at her mercy.

Dementia with Kristina Klebe

Kristina Klebe in Dementia

Dementia at first glance seems very similar to Stephen King’s Misery, starring Kathy Bates and James Caan in the film adaptation. However most of the similarities between the two are only surface deep. As the viewer gets deeper in the similarities drop away, making Dementia a truly unique story, but none the less brutal and horrifying. Eventually all your preconceived notions of how this is going to go fade away, and as the final credits rolled, I was still half waiting on a new revelation.

Dementia starring Gene Jones

Gene Jones in Dementia

Like Misery it is basically a battle of wills between captor and captive, showcasing the talents of Jones and Klebe, both seriously under rated actors. They carry the weight of most of the film, and they carry it well. Both play their roles well, Klebe as the wolf in sheep’s clothes, and Jones as the confused vet, who isn’t sure of anything around him. It’s so well done that at the beginning, I thought it might actually all be Jones confusion. Was he being tormented, or was he doing it himself in his confusion?

 

Kristina Klebe with a gun in Dementia

Kristina Klebe, caring nurse, psychopathic killer, or something else in Dementia

Soon however we see that Klebe is, in fact a vicious killer, who is doctoring his medicine. But is she just a crazed person looking to get her jollies by torturing a helpless man, or is it something deeper. Dementia takes the usual hero/villain dynamic and turns it on it’s head. I really don’t want to spoil this film. It’s too good and needs to be enjoyed spoiler free. It’s not an M. Night wild twist out of nowhere. Astute viewers will know something is up, and the clues are all there. Clues that everything isn’t as it appears.

Gene Jones in pain in Dementia

Dementia tortures Gene Jones

Dementia isn’t an extremely gory film. It’s horror relies on our fear of getting old, of losing our memories and being at the mercy of someone with no mercy. The fear of estrangement from family and loved ones. Then it turns slowly turns it around. Kudos to Jones, Klebe and the rest of the cast on doing a film that is more than it could have been. Dementia could have stayed on the safe straight path of a Misery clone, but it went for more and succeeded. 9 stars out of 10 from me.

Posted by Allen Alberson

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