It's rough moving on after the death of a loved one... especially when you're hallucinating that deceased loved one, among other things. Frank (David Graziano) lost his wife Isabella (Carlyne Fournier) three years ago and has been struggling ever since. His nephew Tommy (Justin Thibault) has been helping him out, but Frank is still taking medication to cope. Then he mysteriously receives a letter from his wife urging him to try to live his life again and, hesitantly, Frank starts to follow that advice.

He runs into a few problems that widowers don't normally have to deal with, though. For one thing, the pretty woman (Jami Tennille) that he keeps seeing in the park and walking by his house has a habit of disappearing in ways that shouldn't be possible. Weirder still, she sometimes appears inside his house and yet he never calls the police. I suppose it is pretty different for a man finding an unknown woman sitting at his dining room table instead of the other way around.

But even Frank's hallucinations seem to be warning him against this woman, who says her name is Mary. Isabella says sadly that Mary will only cause him pain. Meanwhile, Grayson (Kris Salvi), who might or might not be a hallucination and who dresses and smokes like a movie gangster, asks Frank a lot of philosophical questions and now and then throws in a casual warning about who he should really be keeping an eye on. Grayson reminds me of Constantine, by which I mean the good original version.

Remembering that Isabella had become more spiritual just before her death, Frank turns to psychic Miss Lavinia (Irina Peligrad) for guidance, though he isn't really a believer himself. She sees possible disaster ahead for Frank just like everyone else does and tries to warn him, quickly becoming much more deeply involved in the situation than she should, according to her friend and fellow psychic Rose (Renee Lawrie).

After a slow build, rather like the old noir films that Frank watches, everything explodes in the last twenty minutes of the movie and there's all sorts of death and gore. This is a bit of a shock, to say the least, though it also seems inevitable. The main nightmare sequence is great, though -- well, not that Frank thinks it's great, since it is a nightmare, but it's very well done and creepy, and a little different from your usual movie bad dream.

The acting is sometimes uneven (though not with the leads, thankfully), and though I don't mind a slow build-up it is a bit too slow in places, while the ending is a bit too fast. But overall it was an excellent blend of psychological and supernatural horror, something you don't see enough, and I'll give it four out of five. And I'll never look at the Day of the Dead skulls in quite the same way again.

The mysterious Mary. There's a lot of chain smoking in this movie.


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