100 minutes, U.S.A., 1999, Colour, 35mm

Ever unpredictable, Jordan followed a creative high with a psychological thriller which found few admirers. The key image of a lost community beneath a Massachusetts reservoir suggests a lingering suppressed subconscious, as illustrator Annette Bening is assailed by visions of a child killer. Her dreams have a disturbing way of coming true however, as the story sidesteps credibility to follow its own hallucinatory logic. Is the horror coming from without or within?

Bening’s performance, so committed it’s truly frightening, makes it palpable either way and there’s a memorable suspense set-piece at a school play showing Jordan at his visionary best.

 Showing as part of our Neil Jordan Retrospective which runs throughout May. His new film, Byzantium, opens on May 31st.

See our online exhibition of some of Neil Jordan’s substantial document collections held by the IFI Irish Film Archive.

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