- Reaction score
- Trophy Points
2023-04-17 update: As this approaches release, a trailer seems suitable:
I mentioned this idea shortly after seeing the film at the cinema some time ago. Earlier this week, I decided I wanted a short project to tackle while on holiday, hence the thread.
The film itself has a B-movie plot of the sort that Hitchcock could do wonderfully, but the execution here is inconsistent. Foy's performance is great and the core concept is good, but there are several indications of what's really going on that undermine the film's ambiguity, so my goal in the edit is to play up the ambiguity of the question of whether George Shaw is actually David Strine or not.
The main way to achieve this is to keep the film focused on Sawyer's perspective as much as possible once she has been committed. The degree to which this can be achieved is limited by the available material, but for me the big changes are removing scenes which are from other perspectives unless their removal introduces plot holes.
I also wanted to have a more ambiguous resolution, since that ambiguity is the core of the film. If the edit is deliberately making the George/David question ambiguous, Sawyer's escape from solitary confinement can be trimmed so that we don't see David snap Violet's neck. Rather than being captured by David again outside, Sawyer simply escapes. Meanwhile the changed context of the events leading up to this would mean that it is the suspicious nature of Nate's death, along with the story that he was working on, that causes the police to arrive and investigate the hospital. I would also omit the police finding Violet's body in the solitary confinement chamber, leaving that as yet another scene that may or may not have been a delusion.
At the time of writing I'm exporting the edit for preview - I'm pretty confident that it is 99% done, though there are a couple of details I want to check in the preview stage and might tinker with. I also need to create new subtitle tracks and may create a commentary subtitle track as well.
For those interested, the changelist is below the spoiler:
- Removed opening scene with David's monologue in the forest
- Moved Matt Damon safety consultation to serve as a cold-open
- Applied changes to colour balance, brightness & contrast to all scenes up until Sawyer is inside the Highland Creek building - the intention is to create a contrast between Sawyer's perceptions when outside Highland Creek and once she is inside.
- Removed lengthy shot cutting back to George/David after he has shown her the envelope with her mother's address.
- Cut George/David visiting Sawyer's mother at her motel.
- Cut George/David discussing Sawyer's medication mixup.
- Removed on-the-nose shots of George/David monitoring Sawyer and Nate in the dorm (we don't see any other nurses doing this, so again it's too clear an indication of what's actually happening
- Removed shot of George/David watching Sawyer & Nate on the terrace, inserted external shot of Highland Creek to imply passage of time between scenes.
- Removed George/David capturing Nate & torture montage, reworked audio so that scene goes from Sawyer fighting with Violet to waking up in the isolation room.
- Removed scene of jogger finding George Shaw's corpse
- Removed scene of police determining that the corpse in the park is George Shaw
- Removed scene of Highland Creek staff finding Nate's notebook and passing it to management.
- Reworked confrontation in the isolation chamber so that Sawyer just escapes after stabbing George/David in the neck, without seeing him snap Violet's neck. Her flight from the isolation chamber and arrival into the lot out back is intercut with a shortened sequence of a nurse getting a message, seeing the news story about Nate's death on TV, and the police arriving with the warrant. This then segues into the police search finding Nate's notebook, prompting the arrest of the hospital manager.
- Removed George/David recapturing Sawyer and the confrontation in the forest.
For the time being, the plan is to release as an MP4. The edit is in HD and I was pleasantly surprised to note that the centre channel is pretty clean as far as music is concerned.