Director Brad Anderson (The Mechanic, Fringe) never disappoints so when I saw this asylum movie (my least favorite of the horror sub-genre) I new this would be one of thoe better films. I was not disappointed.
It's the turn of the century. Edward Newgate, a medical school graduate, makes his way out to the country, to the isolated Stonehearst Asylum to work. He had sent a letter telling of his arrival and interest of working there--and he's accepted by head doctor, Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley). He also meets patient Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale), who was put there by her rich, abusive husband, after she injured him.
He's immediately taken with her--and suspects she's not crazy at all. But he starts noticing things that are a bit odd, such as Dr. Lamb allowing the staff and patients to freely mix. All becomes clear when Edward hears a strange noise one night and investigates. It leads him down into the basement where the real staff is imprisoned. You see, the lunatics are running the place.
What sets this gothic horror movie apart from the others is the great cast, which includes Michael Caine and David Thewliss (THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU), as well as the well-written script (based on an Edgar Allen Poe story). Highly recommended.