Smart & stylish, the psychic se7en.

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

Seemingly having been dealt a stealth release and cast into the film ether, thingís donít look hopeful for Solace - a film that is finally getting a release after suffering a string of setbacks. So how does this Anthony Hopkins led thriller stack up?

Solace begins with a good old fashioned murder - as all good movies should - only this murder is the latest in a series, with the modus operandi being a thin wound to the back of the victims necks - causing a swift and painless death. Assessing the scene are two FBI Agentís; Joe (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Katherine (Abbie Cornish) who are both way out of their depth.

With the killer eluding them at every turn and seemingly taunting the detectives with strange notes left at each of the scenes; not to mention no physical evidence to go on and so far no link found between the victims, Joe resorts to seeking the help of an old friend in Dr. John Clancy (Anthony Hopkins) - or more precisely the strange clairvoyance gift he wields - with whom he has worked with in solving many cases in the past.

Unfortunately after the recent death of his daughter due a drawn out battle with leukemia, John has ostracized himself from his own wife and the world at large - living deep in the sticks - and not interested in using his ability to help the case. That is until John looks over the case files, with the strange notes the killer has left perplexingly meant for John himself - quickly coming to the conclusion that like John, the killer also has the same gift, only using it for nefarious purposes.

With John now onboard the trio play a game of cat and mouse, but how do you catch a killer that can predict the future, where every move you make is seemingly playing further into their hands?

Itís such a shame that Solace has been pushed out with little fanfare, as it truly is a flawed gem of a film. From a technical aspect it is executed very stylishly by newcomer director Afonso Poyart, showcasing some fantastic cinematography and edited smartly to bring the whole thing together into a cohesive whole. Itís also capped off with two thrilling performances from Anthony Hopkins and Jeffrey Dean Morgan that will keep you invested throughout its hour and 40 minutes runtime.

Solace originally started life as a sequel to the cult mystery thriller Se7en, only to be cast-off and made as a standalone film - but the tone of Solace is still very reminiscent of Se7en, like another story set within that same world. Itís also a film with a message, one that will likely have you and your friends or family discussing as the credits roll - over where you sit on the dilemma Solace presents.

But for everything Solace does perfectly, the one hang-up that prevents it from reaching the lofty heights of the aforementioned Se7en, is how it is all presented. Unlike most thrillers, every mystery within Solace has already been answered and revealed to you - the viewer - through John. Because of this it prevents any kind of tension - besides some small reveals with the audience - to really bring across a satisfying arc.

Instead the film plays out very methodically as we and John piece together what he has perceived through his visions. With the ability John has, I feel the approach Solace takes misses the mark, it could have easily teased us more with not only the extent of Johnís powers but the mystery and motives of the killer. But for the story Solace does present, itís a good one; whilst straightforward (well as straightforward as a man with psychic powers can get) the execution in both camera work and lead performances will keep you invested until its conclusion.

With its staggered release Solace will likely be a film seen by few eyeballs, which is a crying shame, as it is an excellent well executed thriller that very nearly reaches the heights of the cult classics within the genre. If you are a fan of thrillers then Solace should definitely be on your radar.

Solace is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD via Amazon or on-demand via Amazon Video.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    4th October 2015

  • 4 Out of 5 Stars
  • Lacking tension

  • Directing

    Lead performances

    Execution

    Stylish

Film Info

Solace Solace
Rating: 15
Release Date: 25th September
Runtime: 1 hr 41 mins
Director: Afonso Poyart
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell, Jose Pablo Cantillo & Matt Gerald

  • Se7en
  • Along Came A Spider
  • Taking Lives

No, there are multiple scenes of murder, dead bodies, mutilation and gunshots.

Originally set as a sequel to Se7en (called Ei8ht) but the idea was scrapped and the script re-wrote as a standalone film.

The role of Dr. John Clancy was originally cast to Bruce Willis under production with New Line Cinema, where it remained stagnant for nearly 2 years. The film was then bought by Relativity Media who subsequently went through a financial crisis.

The film is called Premonitions in some territories.