Memory Lane is a heartfelt, emotion provoking rollercoaster of a movie. The substantial plot, which is slightly more intricate than your average horror movie, requires your full attention - and you will be rewarded further from multiple viewings.
The plot is easily summarised as an exploration of the past through the medium of death; or less pretentious - a guy trying to uncover the mystery of his girlfriend’s death by repeatedly killing himself and having his mates resuscitate him. The story begins as soldier ‘boxer’ meets the girl of his dreams and saves her from suicide. Whilst dealing with his own shit from the war, his romance becomes intense and passionate very quickly, and following his marriage proposal, his life is turned upside down as she is found dead in a bath tub. Unable to accept her death as suicide, Boxer decides to follow suit, but on doing so finds more in the light than either a midget or a bloke with a big beard. With regularity he finds he can revisit scenes of his life and piece together the facts of his girlfriend’s death by picking up on subtle clues he missed first time around.
The plot is supported by a strong cast, who for the most part, play the role of close friends convincingly. The script is good, and with a lot of emphasis on their support through their friends grieving, be prepared to accept that the drama elements of the movie have more in common with art house cinema than the more conventional horror movies the plot might suggest. Speaking of art house, what is quite striking is the high polished production, and lively emotive score which accompanies the movies many dramatic scenes of sadness, grief and ‘bro-mance’.
The story is told well, it’s many layers delivered with pace. The plot can get a little confusing in parts as, in the vein of other ‘memory’ movies, many scenes are sequenced out of chronological order. Perseverance and attention is key to enjoying all ‘Memory Lane’ has to offer, and as I said in my opener, a second viewing will probably help iron out some of the questions you may have after your first.
In terms of criticism, in attempts to perhaps over compensate for a minimal budget, there are occasions where all of the above don’t quite make for fluid watching. It would be difficult to convey in words, but at times, all elements of film making seem to compete with each other rather than work together. The score, which is commendably cinematic throughout, will crescendo at the same time actors are delivering the pinnacle of their drama, whilst the camera man is wobbling around with close-ups as if he is unable to keep away from the group hug situation which is unravelling on screen.
All cynicism aside, ‘Memory Lane’ is a refreshing angle and an awesome concept. It delivers an ambitious plot with thoughtful exposition and a clear passion to have the story realised. Despite being a micro-budget movie (an unbelievable $300 is cited online) it comes across far more polished than most. Monster pictures have put together an attractive 2 disc package which will be the perfect purchase for horror fans who enjoy a little more emotion than is delivered in standard genre fare.