Review By Bradley Smith
Haunting, beautiful, creepy, thought provoking, disturbing, The Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman is a real treat for thrill seeking movie-goers. It is a true insight into agoraphobia that had me glued to the screen from the first shot to the perplexing conclusion.
Stewart O’Reilly plays the titular lonely madman, Adam, an agoraphobic who hasn’t left his apartment in six months. He works in graphic design via email, he orders food and supplies online, has an unnatural obsession with a movie star, and never answers his phone or his door except to receive anything he has had delivered. He never changes his clothes, never flushes his toilet, and often sits at his window watching the world pass by. Slowly, he starts to see and hear things as he is driven mad by his seclusion. But, is it just his seclusion that is taunting him? The title is a big clue about how the movie ends, but the journey to get there is a fantastic exploration of the human mind that is entirely possible in a world that is becoming more and more isolationist-friendly thanks to technology.
The movie is beautifully shot in black and white, possibly as an homage to Hitchcock and Psycho, which already throws off the mind’s perception of reality and sets the tone for the weirdness that is to follow. The limited special effects are some of the most imaginative and thought provoking that I’ve seen in years; a computer monitor serving as the head of a physical person is an interesting representation for how we experience a lot of our social interactions these days.
Stewart is wonderful playing Adam; which is even more impressive considering he is alone for a majority of the movie. Aside from the opening narration explaining his fear, you really get the sense that he is afraid of everyone outside his apartment; even a simple knock on the door causes Adam to freeze. This is an accurate representation of agoraphobia; which I have had some experience with. To this day, I get a little nervous when there is a knock on the door. And the discussion in the film about what goes on in the mind of a paranoid agoraphobic when they answer a phone or fail to answer a phone is very realistic.