Directed by Marc Evans, starring Colin Firth, Mena Suvari, Naomie Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Sean Harris, Brenda Fricker and Gary Tubbs.
'Trauma' will absolutely perplex you - and not at all in a good way. It'll annoy you. It'll get under your skin. And you might think that those are often qualities of some of the best films. Perhaps, but not this one. You'll think that this chiller is about to throw a major psychological twist at you. It never happens. Or, rather, by the time the plot eventually becomes clear you'll end up caring little about the whys and whos and feeling more enraged that you have waited for the so-called climax.
Fans of Colin Firth may be enticed to part with their cash just to see him in a more serious (ie psychotic) role than that which he usually plays. Don't do it. Wait until the next 'Bridget Jones' instalment. You'll never look at him in the same light again if you see him as the flawed, barely sympathetic character that evolves on screen in 'Trauma'.
Ben (Firth) awakes from a coma to the sound of a barrage of television and radio reports proclaiming the death of pop superstar Lauren Parris, whose body has been found in suspicious circumstances after disappearing. As his consciousness reaches some kind of normality he realises that Lauren's very public death has overshadowed his own wife Elisa's (Harris) following a car accident.
But all is not as it seems. When Ben is discharged from hospital and attempts to make a fresh start for himself he is befriended by his beautiful young neighbour Charlotte (Suvari). As she begins to take an extraordinary interest in his wife's death, Ben begins to realise that he has been living a lie. A trip to a medium (Fricker), however, reveals more than he wanted to know.
As a spiral of lies, suspicions, delusion and deceit is played out, it becomes obvious that this storyline is going nowhere fast. Ben is not the hapless victim he first seemed; Charlotte is not the all-giving neighbour and Elisa and Lauren's deaths are certainly not as they first appear. There's a danger of making this sound interesting. Let's not cross that line.
'Trauma' is so very unsettling as to make you physically wince, with Ben's weird obsession for creepy crawlies making for some skin-crawling cutaways. Everything about this film is traumatic, most notably having to watch it right through. You'll want to leave after 15 minutes, but might decide to stay just to make sense of the myriad of intertwined storylines. You'll be none the wiser at the finish.