Lord of Illusions (1995) Movie Review

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1995 | R | Horror, Thriller, Mystery
109 minutes /

User Score: 56/100

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Lord of Illusions Review


During a routine case in L.A., NY private investigator Harry D'Amour stumbles over members of a fanatic cult...

Lord of Illusions (1995) is another Clive Barker (Hellraiser (1987), Nightbreed (1990), Candyman (1992)) twisted tale of terror and gore. Clive Barker write the script based on his story titled The Last Illusion which he then rewrote into screenplay followed by directing this horror mystery thriller movie. Lord of Illusions had an estimated budget of $12 million and grossed $13.293 million at the US box office. Like most (trying not to say "every") Clive Barker film, this film is riddled with gore, insanity, intense, and uncomfortable scenes.

Lord of Illusions followers the path of private investigator Harry D’Amour (Scott Bakula - Star Trek: Enterprise, Quantum Leap) as he looks to rebound from his last case involving an exorcism. He is now reassigned to look over the famed illusionist¬†Philip Swann (Kevin J. O’Connor - The Mummy (1999), Van Helsing (2004), There Will Be Blood (2007), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)) and his wife Dorothea Swann ( Famke Janssen - X-Men (2000), Netflix‘s Hemlock Grove, Hansel & Gretal: Witch Hunters (2013)). Quickly we are propelled through a spiraling story of the second coming of long-buried cult leader Nix ( Daniel von Bargen - The Postman (1997), Basic Instinct (1992), Super Troopers (2001)) as he returns with demonic powers.

Bakula is a great actor who plays his role wonderfully and convincingly. O’Connor is most notable for playing the comic relief but in this film, he plays a very distraught¬†character and deeper role. Although he played the role well, I still kept looking for the comedic side of his character which there was a very slight trace. In fact, the movie was well cast with Famke Janssen delivering a terrific mix of vulnerability to her portrayal. Cult leader Nix has small on-screen moments, but there is a great deal of dread and terror when he does appear. Nix states that he was "born to murder the world." I am not a fan of the noir-inspired mystery, but it works well to set Lords of Illusions apart¬†from most of any other horror movie you will ever watch. The way that the story is told in both the present and the past recaps is great and adds the necessary layers to the film to keep you interested for near two hours of the film. If you get the chance, watch the directors cut which is a little over two hours but helps to flesh out more characters. The acting, special effects, and all around tone of the film mesh well to bring about a haunting movie experience. However, this is not a film I would rewatch often.

About Lord of Illusions 1995

Title: Lord of Illusions
Year: 1995
Runtime: 109 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Score: 3.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 2.75/5 stars from 9 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 9
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Famke Janssen, Kevin J. O'Connor, Vincent Schiavelli, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian La Cause, Barry Shabaka Henley, Joel Swetow, Daniel von Bargen, Wayne Grace, J. Trevor Edmond, Joanna Sanchez, G. Larry Butler, Jordan Marder, Barry Del Sherman, Scott Bakula, Sean Clark, Joseph Latimore, McNally Sagal, Ashley Tesoro, Luca Tommassini, T.S. Hunter, Crystal Lujan, Alan McFarland, Erol Sarabi, Jimmy Shaw, Troy Titus-Adams, Ken Davitian, Lucinda Lewis, Mikey LeBeau, Sheila Tousey
Writers: Clive Barker
Director: Clive Barker