Stonehearst Asylum is star studded suspense at its best

Stonehearst Asylum

“Stonhearst Asylum” is an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation with an A-list cast and does not disappoint!


A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues — though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.

Cinematics(Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.)

Edgar Allan Poe is a timeless author known for his eerie and suspenseful mystery stories. When it comes to the recent film adaptation “Stonehearst Asylum” (based on “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether”), it more than encompasses the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe with its eerie, isolated setting and dynamically mysterious characters.

The setting of the mental institution is a common setting among horror and mystery films. With many Hollywood type theatrics, mental institutions are depicted as run down supernatural buildings rather than any type of beneficial medical institution. “Stonhearst Asylum” differs in this regard by using the setting as a supplement rather than a crutch. The asylum builds the sense of isolation and despair but the characters are the backbone of the film’s mystery and suspense.

Stonehearst Asylum Beckinsale Sturgess

Beckinsale and Sturgess both share a timid uncertainty

Between the nefarious nature of Ben Kingsley, the eloquent dialogue of Michael Caine, the timid nature of Jim Sturgess, and the enchanting beauty of Kate Beckinsale, “Stonehearst Asylum” creates a formula for suspenseful intrigue. The most interesting thing about these characters is how they tie the plot together. There is no true right or wrong throughout the film as each character has a flipside. Without revealing too much of the plot, I will say that there are unexpected surprises throughout the film that keep the momentum going until the very last scene. After watching “Stonehearst Asylum” you may side with some characters over others but in the end your opinions will be based upon your own ethical perspective rather than any absolutes.

Entertainment Value

“Stonhearst Asylum” is very entertaining for those that favor mystery and suspense. Throughout the film it feels as if you’re watching a demented game of “Clue” as the plot progresses and dives deeper into the origins of the characters. It may not have the complexity that some hardcore cinephiles may desire but it should appease both cinephiles and general audiences alike with its constant twists and turns.

Stonehearst Asylum Ben Kingsley

Sir Ben Kingsley does what he does best!

In addition to the interesting story and characters, the film is surrounded by a broad A-list cast that many viewers can relate to. Between Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine viewers get their seasoned veterans and with Kate Beckinsale and Jim Sturgess viewers get their youth and beauty.

Despite its arguable plot simplicity, I found “Stonehearst Asylum” to be very entertaining with the ability to entertain a large demographic of viewers.


Unfortunately “Stonehearst Asylum” is a film that doesn’t fit well into the “Rewatchability” category. Like many mystery and suspense films, much of the luster is gone once the film’s questions are answered. I would be willing to watch this film again with the intent to share it with another person but much of the film’s complexity can be unraveled in one viewing.

Blu-ray/DVD Features

The Blu-ray is extremely lacking when it comes to extras. The extras consist of one featurette that slightly piques interest which is short-lived. The lack of features obviously do not affect the quality of the film but lack of these features could be a make or break deal for those deciding on whether to rent or own.

  • Cinematics
  • Entertainment Value
  • Rewatchability
  • Blu-ray/DVD Features


"Stonhearst Asylum" casts a wide net with its audience reach. With a plot that is intriguing yet not overly complex, it is sure to captivate most everyone looking for a suspenseful mystery film. With the top notch cast, performances are superb (as expected) creating many dynamic characters that viewers can connect with. While many can enjoy the film, the Blu-Ray is lacking when it comes to extras and special features. Regardless of that fact, "Stonehearst Asylum" is sure to satisfy on many levels.

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Author: Ryan

Ryan has been fascinated with film and pop culture since childhood. Throughout college he "played it safe" taking the more lucrative route of being a computer programmer while squeezing in film related courses where he could...but even during his post college career, he could never escape his true passion. After following one of his favorite blogs for a long time, he approached the site's Editor about writing and they reluctantly gave him a shot. He later became their Senior Writer which led to a variety of other projects, radio show appearances, features, and high profile celebrity interviews. Despite his success with blogging, he still wanted more so in order to expand his creative addiction, he merged his IT skills and blogging know-how to create which has continued to grow into a creative Mecca of pop-culture fun and integrity.[email protected]   Film Fad

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