October 6, 2003 Leave a Comment
(2001) dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel
This is yet another in a string of films that I caught recently that had at their base a really clever concept but only yielded rather middling returns.
Very loosely based on a real incident, the film tells the story of a psychological experiment gone wrong in which a number of men are brought into a mock prison facility with half of them cast as guards and the other half cast as prisoners. They quickly take to their roles and violence and intimidation and humiliation rule the day. Of course, the film excites the story to more sordid heights with rape and murder as some of the ultimate results with science playing god. It makes me wonder, could this be classified as science fiction?
Actually, this film was pretty good. Not necessarily enjoyable-good, but not bad. I kept thinking of Shock Corridor (1963), though this film was a world away from the nuttiness of Samuel Fuller. It was the reporter undercover in some correctional facility-thing, I guess.