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Get it by Wed, 28 Mar - Fri, 6 Apr from Northcote, Victoria
Compared to pallid supernatural romances like Ghost, The Secret is a fireball of Freudian pathos about a love triangle between parents Benjamin (David Duchovny) and Hannah Marris (Lili Taylor), and their teenage daughter, Samantha (Olivia Thirlby). Directed by Swiss actor Vincent Perez, The Secret succeeds where other cheesy ghost films fail because there is always the possibility that after Benjamins wife, Hannah, dies in a car accident and comes back to inhabit her daughters body, Benjamin will be lured into his daughters arms by sheer grief commingled with desire. The films operates with increasing tension throughout, starting when Benjamin decides to believe that Sam is temporarily not Sam, but his wife. There are sappy scenes, such as when Sam, as mother Hannah, returns to high school following the accident and flails terribly in teenage situations. But the notion of a mother spying on her daughter through possession recalls Mommie Dearest, in a great way. The real credit in this film goes to Thirlby, who in essence plays two characters well, switching identities throughout. The sexual innuendo she brings to the part adds the zest The Secret needs to elevate it from a suburban nightmare to real horror. Viewers who enjoy The Secret might also look to Argentos mother trilogy, or the recently released French horror film, Inside. That said, The Secret contains no gore and relies on psychological suspense rather than violence to construct its mother/daughter tale. Secret is based on the 1999 Japanese film Himitsu Screenplay written by Ann Cherkis