Anna tells the story of John (Mark Strong), a memory detective who possess the ability to infiltrate other people’s memory and use it to solve crimes.
The movie pretty much explains the whole memory detective thing in straight up exposition. Even veiled as a news story its still expositional narration, which is the worst kind of narration. Which is not starting this thing on the best footing. We kind of get he can enter people’s memory by the first few scenes; we don’t need to be hand-fed all that information.
Still, the plot surges on as John gets assigned the case of a young girl named Anna (Taissa Fermiga) who is on a hunger strike. As John gets more involved in the teens life he begins to question her mental illness. Is she really a troubled teen or is she just a sociopath?
The film introduces a really cool premise. A murder mystery that delves into the fallibility of memory, is a seemingly very original idea. The film offers an interesting glimpse into the life of a narrator that you don’t know the reliability of. In the grand scheme of things, it does accomplish that goal pretty well. He’s also dealing with a teen that had suicidal tendencies after losing his wife to suicide. That could have been an interesting angle.
However, it doesn’t pay off on any of the setups it starts. There are some decisions that make literally zero sense. They drop the main mystery completely, or at least it seems like they do. By the end of the film, the story is so all over the place that you kind of just give up. The saddest part is that it could have been awesome. The idea is pretty original, Taissa Fermiga is a very capable young actress who has delivered incredible performances in the past (i.e American Horror Story Season 1), and Mark Strong is a great actor with true action hero potential that is just totally abandoned. Fermiga’s character is never really defined. Is she supernatural? Is she just a psycho? It’s very confusing. Then there is another plot twist at the very end that makes even LESS sense. Stop ruining potentially good horror films with useless plot twists. Answer the set ups you already started for Pete’s sake! Trust me there are PLENTY of setups this thing could have addressed before it threw even more at you. I wish this movie was better, I really do, but it’s a total mess that completely loses focus halfway through.
Amy’s Recommendation: 4/10