DVD Review: One Hour Photo (2002)

Creepy, terrifying and brilliant. All words I would use to describe ‘One Hour Photo’; the haunting film by Mark Romanek in which Robin Williams delivers one of his finest performances.

Written and directed by Romanek  ‘One Hour Photo’ is the portrait (pun kind of intended) of Sy Parrish, an innocuous one hour photo lab employee at a Wal-Mart-ish type store, who becomes obsessed with the ‘perfect’ family. For years Sy has been enamored with the Yorkin family, even going as far as to create a  photo wall in their honor in his apartment but when he realizes that not everything is as it seems, he takes drastic measures to make things right again.

‘One Hour Photo’ is one of those films that is psychologically terrifying.  There isn’t anything jumping out at you every two minutes but the eeriness of Williams’s performance will haunt you for days.  I often find in movies that the most terrifying occurrences are things that could actually be true; this is the case in ‘One Hour Photo.’  Sy is a real person, he’s out there, amongst us and that’s what make this film so chilling.  Williams’s sells this performance, as if his life depended on it. One second you’re freaking out over his blatant creepiness and a second later you’re feeling sorry for him  because all he wants is for someone to love him. Not romantically but socially;  if that makes any sense. Regardless, Williams’s dedication and almost unrecognizable appearance makes for an enjoyable movie watching experience.

Other standouts in the film included Romanek’s use of stark colors  throughout the film. In one scene in particular,  the entire background is pure white and the only color in the shot can be found in Sy’s famous blue vest; something so simple yet so memorable. Actually that’s a perfect description for the film, simple yet memorable.

You will be blown away by this  film’s subtly and it will make you look at strangers in a totally different light.

So to recap: ‘One Hour Photo’, a great film for discussion or pure entertainment. Enjoyable across the board.

My grade: 7.5/10


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