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Clive Barker's Lord Of Ilusions

Adapted from his novella The Last Illusion, this film from horror author Clive Barker is an effectively chilling marriage of the supernatural and noir genres.

In 1982, Philip Swann (Kevin J. O'Connor), a follower of demonic cult leader Nix (Daniel Von Bargen), leads a group of his fellow devotees in killing and burying the evil guru Nix before he can sacrifice a young girl. In the present day, private eye Harry D'Amour (Scott Bakula) (who you may recognise from Everville and The Great and Secret Show, travels from New York to Los Angeles on an insurance fraud case, only to stumble upon one of Nix's former cultists being mutilated by another. Some of the group are intent on raising Nix from the dead, and Dorothea Swann (Famke Janssen), the would-be sacrifice now grown up and married to her savior, hires Harry to look after Philip, now a famous magician. But during one of his performances, Philip is killed by falling swords when an escape trick goes wrong.

The cultists continue to threaten Dorothea, and in the course of protecting her, Harry winds up romantically involved with her. It soon transpires, however, that Philip is still alive, having faked his own death to escape the wrath of Nix's followers. That doesn't stop them from disinterring Nix and reviving him at his old haunt in the desert, where he repays the favor by killing them all. He then turns on Dorothea and Harry, who is powerless against his black magic; it falls to Philip to invoke his own supernatural talents and send Nix to hell forever.

The effects and atmosphere in this film are fantastic particuarly the death of Phillip by falling swords, and the cult members who rip their hair out. It also has genuine horror moments, for example when the mask is put onto Nix and the screws drill into the side of his head.

Final Verdict -9/10

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