Following the 2017 actioner Point Blank, director Joe Lynch returns to the horror genre for his latest feature, Suitable Flesh, from RLJE films. Dennis Paoli pens the film's screenplay, an adaptation of the 1937 H. P. Lovecraft short story "The Thing on the Doorstep."
Elizabeth Derby, a talented psychiatrist played by Heather Graham, enjoys a peaceful life with her husband, Eddie (Johnathon Schaech), and has never been troubled by her patients. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when a disturbed young man named Asa Waite (Judah Lewis) enters her office seeking help. Elizabeth becomes obsessed with helping Asa, who is suffering from an extreme personality disorder and begins to uncover shocking secrets involving his father, Ephram Waite (Bruce Davidson).
Elizabeth delves deeper into Asa's troubled past, she becomes entangled in a dark and dangerous world of occultism and dark secrets. Her efforts to help Asa and unravel the truth behind his condition lead her down a dangerous path, and she must fight to escape a horrific fate. As she confronts the sinister forces at play and tries to save Asa, Elizabeth must also confront her demons and inner turmoil.
As soon as the movie commenced in reverse chronology, I was immediately intrigued by the character of Dr. Daniella Upton, played by the talented Barbara Crampton. Although I had heard of H.P. Lovecraft, I was unfamiliar with the source material that the filmmakers drew inspiration from. However, my curiosity was piqued, and I eagerly anticipated the thrill ride that was about to unfold.
Suitable Flesh is one of those horror flicks that you go into unthinkingly. So, in that regard, I want to keep my review as spoiler-free as possible. Heather Graham anachors the ship of the film delivering easily her best performance in ages. Not only does she allude to naturally grown woman sex appeal, but the places her character is required give me a clue that the same way Liam Nesson found a career resurgence in action films, Heather Graham may have a second career in horror films.
Horror movie enthusiasts, both old and new, will have a lot to look forward to in this movie. Judah Lewis, known for his work in horror, showcases his range in his fourth horror film. As the movie progresses, fans of the genre will be pleased to notice several homages and nods to the late and great Stuart Gordon, a pioneer of horror cinema, and his works. The presence of Barbara Crampton in the film is just one of the many connections to Gordon's legacy. Overall, the movie promises to be a treat for anyone who loves horror films and enjoys discovering hidden references and Easter eggs.
Mixing body horror with sensual scenes that would make the nineties erotic thriller genre proud, Suitable Flesh is a fun ride for horror fans.
Final Grade: B+
SUITABLE FLESH will be available in theaters, and everywhere you rent movies on October 27, 2023. Additionally, the film will arrive on Shudder in 2024