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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Sensation (1994)



Reviews and Comments

Sensation is a seedy whodunit that creates an intriguing atmosphere but ultimately fails from incessant repetition. The plot is this -- a professor enlists the aid of a student to help in his study of what he calls psychometry. Psychometry is a theory that all objects record sensory data in their molecular structure. A conversation takes place; every object in the room keeps a record of the sound vibrations. The student seems hypersensitive to this. Given an object, she can perceive sensations about what happened to that object. The professor gives her objects to derive impressions from, and it soon becomes clear that the owner of these objects may have met with a deadly end. And just maybe the professor is behind it all.

The way the scenes where the student senses things about the objects is filmed in a way that's interesting approximately once. There are flashes of incomplete images and muffled sounds. Something whispers "Lila" way too many times. Unimaginative plot twists occur. And on. And on. And on. The mystery isn't a short answer question, it's a multiple choice -- and alternate suspects are added into the story not because they serve any useful purpose but merely to lengthen the list of possibilities. When the killer is unmasked, it doesn't really matter who it is -- the movie could have been refilmed to make it any of the others just as convincingly. The makers of this film should have spent less time enthralled with style and sensationalism and more time figuring out what makes good whodunits work.