Stonehearst Asylum (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Thriller
Director: Brad Anderson
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 108 minutes

Stonehearst Asylum (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Story, the revelations in the story, acting performances, suspense
Bad: No extras on the disc, pace might get a bit too slow at times
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

An asylum always has a rather eerie and creepy atmosphere surrounding it, especially in horror movies. The mind of a crazy person can become as gruesome and as terrible as the writers want it to be and this opens up a lot of possibilities. Stonehearst Asylum, although more a thriller than a real horror movie, makes great use of those possibilities in its characters and story writing. It’s been a while since I’ve been so pleased with a movie that has the word ‘asylum’ in it and here’s why.

Stonehearst logo

In the movie, we meet Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess), a young and ambitious doctor who wants to get some more practical experience in the field and who decides to stay at Stonehearst Asylum, an institute for the mentally challenged. In the asylum, Edward soon bumps into Dr. Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley), the head of the institute and one to believe in a more controversial way of treating his patients. Lamb doesn’t believe much in constraining or medicating severe patients but instead, he lets them run around free while encouraging any kind of madness they possess. As long as they feel happy, he doesn’t care whether a person believes he’s a flying pig or an Arabian horse. Among the patients, we find Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale), a young woman who suffers from hysteria. Whenever a person comes to close to her and treats her to intimate, her body goes into a state of constant spasms. Edward soon becomes close to her and as the relationship between the two evolves, a lot of things become clearer as not everything is what it seems at first.


The narrative is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” and truly succeeds in surprising the audience more than once. There are several huge twists in the story and they appear totally unexpected which is exactly how plot twists should be. Even after just about 15 minutes into the movie, the situation becomes incredibly exciting and makes you want to watch the whole 108 minutes. The build-up to the climax at the end is quite slow and steady compared to other movies but thanks to that, the ending is much more satisfying. Overall, Stonehearst Asylum’s storyline is very enjoyable and keeps you on your toes throughout the whole movie.

The pacing is, as said before, quite steady but near the end, the movie really shifts in a higher gear. All previous events seem to make a lot more sense and everything comes together beautifully. Meanwhile, as you, the viewer, are aware of certain realities, the movie only becomes that much more exciting as it’s just a matter of waiting before the cat’s out of the bag. If you liked the suspense in other movies like Shutter Island to name one, then you’ll definitely like Stonehearst Asylum’s approach.


Acting wise, there’s not much, if anything to complain. With a cast offering names like Ben Kingsley (Shutter Island, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) and Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas) there’s not much that can go wrong. It’s very important for the plot to succeed that all actors and actresses are pretty much flawless in their performances and as mentioned some paragraphs before, the movie really surprised with the revelations. The whole cast remained true to their assigned characters and you can clearly see how well they work together to make this movie a huge mind game. And let’s face it; playing a character that’s completely crazy is probably not the easiest of acting jobs. Harry Potter fans will be pleased to know that the actor who plays Remus Lupin in the movies, David Thewlis, is also playing a pretty important part in Stonehearst Asylum. He too, doesn’t fail to keep true to his character.

Unfortunately, there’re no extra features on the disc to watch after completing the movie.


The movie does a great job at keeping the audience interested. Right of the bat, surprising revelations make you want to watch through the whole 108 minutes and Stonehearst Asylum only gets better and better. The acting is of great quality, which is certainly a must in a movie like this. Fans of movies like Shutter Island will be pleased with this movie as it succeeds in creating the same kind of suspense while telling an interesting and unexpected tale.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Stonehearst Asylum (DVD) - Movie Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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