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The Asylum

Synopsis

Jenny Adams, an immature young woman, hidden away from the world by her protective psychiatrist father, Dr Madsen Adams, is plagued by nightmares and visions. Some of these suggest that, as a child, she brutally killed her mother. At the time of her mother's death, the family lived in the grounds of the asylum which Dr Adams ran and it was assumed, although never proved, that one of the inmates was the killer.

Without her father's knowledge, Jenny enlists the help of William, a disturbed young man in Dr Adams' care, to help her to return to the now abandoned asylum to try to solve the mystery.

Once there she finds several former inmates, including a priest, Father Matthew, a medium Isobella, and a drug addict, Neville, sharing both her visions and the sudden, irresistible desire to return to the asylum.

When people again begin to die and Jenny is trapped within the decaying hulk of the asylum with her terrifying memories, she realises that she is in danger of losing both her sanity and her life.

Review from Edinburgh Film UK catalogue 2000

Boasting a cast that unites the queen of Hammer Horror with the saucy joker from the Confessions... films, The Asylum looks ripe for cult success.

Directed by John Stewart, whose short films The Break-In and Crash won many fans on the international festival circuit, The Asylum is a psychological thriller about a woman (Stephanie Pitt) tormented by the suspicion that, as a child, she killed her own mother. Teaming up with an unstable young man (Nick Waring), she returns to the mental hospital where her unbalanced father (Patrick Mower) used to practice. There she meets former inmates (Hammer queen Ingrid Pitt and Robin Askwith from the Confessions... films) and events take a murderous turn when they become trapped inside the asylum.

"The film is more of a thriller than a horror film," says producer Carol Lemon, who set up Nunhead Films with John Stewart to make genre films. "Casting Ingrid Pitt was not a cynical move: we thought about who would fit the part and asked them. Some said no, some said yes and she said yes. Then we met her daughter who we knew immediately would be perfect for the lead role."

When original financing failed to materialise, Lemon and Stewart raised the budget through the Enterprise Investment Scheme. The film premiered in June at the Fantafestival in Rome, where, says Lemon, it was enthusiastically received. She now is fielding offers from three US-based sales companies for international rights. In the meantime, Stewart is working on the company's next project. Also starring Ingrid Pitt, The Block is about a woman who moves into an apartment block and discovers that the neighbours are up to something sinister.

Details

Year
2000
Type of film
Features
Director
John Stewart
Screenwriter
John Stewart
Music
Christopher Slaski.
Principal Cast
Steffanie Pitt, Nick Waring, Ingrid Pitt, Patrick Mower, Robin Askwith, Colin Baker, Chloe Annett, Paul Reynolds, Robin Parkinson.

Genre

Production Company

NUNHEAD FILMS
Pinewood Studios
Pinewood Road, Iver Heath
Buckinghamshire SL10 0NH
UK

T (44) 1753 650075

info@nunheadfilms.com