A Chronicle Of Corpses

Ten Little Indians with a gothic twist. The year is 1807: The last members of the once-wealthy Elliot family live in an isolated mansion with their few remaining servants. In addition to being strapped for cash, the Elliots are filled with secrets: Patriarch Thomas (Kevin Mitchell Martin) is sleeping with his brother-in-law (David Semonin). Thomas's alcoholic...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Ten Little Indians with a gothic twist. The year is 1807: The last members of the once-wealthy Elliot family live in an isolated mansion with their few remaining servants. In addition to being strapped for cash, the Elliots are filled with secrets: Patriarch Thomas (Kevin Mitchell Martin) is sleeping with his brother-in-law (David Semonin). Thomas's alcoholic son (Oliver Wyman) lusts for serving girl Bridgette (Margot White), who's having an affair with Tyrone, the stable boy (Harry Carnahan Green), who's also sleeping with Mrs. Elliot (Sally Mercer). And stern Grandmother Elliot (Marj Dusay) is keeping her counsel with regard to several matters that might explain why some anonymous killer is stalking the family. Only religious teenage Sara (Ryan Foley), her infant sister and Father Jerome (Jerry Perna) appear to be living blameless lives. The first to die are serving girl Anna Swales (Amanda Scheiner) and a former slave (David Scott Taylor) who lives in the woods. But soon the Elliots themselves start falling — can the survivors identify and stop the killer before it's too late? That 22-year-old writer-producer-director Andrew Repasky McElhinney has an eye is clear: This slow-moving mystery contains some striking images and surprisingly sophisticated camera work, particularly given the budgetary restraints under which he must have been working. And you have to admire his ambition — to make a credible period film on a limited budget is tough, and he does a better job than you might expect. But the story is painfully familiar, and McElhenney regularly stops it in its tracks by indulging the actors in arty monologues that sap the movie of any suspense or sense of momentum. It all culminates in a surprise ending that is indeed surprising, but not for any particularly good reason.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Review: Ten Little Indians with a gothic twist. The year is 1807: The last members of the once-wealthy Elliot family live in an isolated mansion with their few remaining servants. In addition to being strapped for cash, the Elliots are filled with secrets: Patriar… (more)

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