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The Cry of the Owl (2009)

Julia Stiles , Paddy Considine , Jamie Thraves  |  R |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Julia Stiles, Paddy Considine
  • Directors: Jamie Thraves
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003BJO8L4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,844 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Cry of the Owl" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley), a young woman becomes inexplicably attracted to a man who is stalking her. When her boyfriend goes missing, the stalker is the immediate suspect, until a game of jealousy and betrayal turns deadly.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By Compay
The Cry of the Owl is a slow-boiling psychological thriller that doesn't offer the nonstop suspense that "Seven" might, but still delivers by the film's end.

The movie is based on a 1962 novel by Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote the novel that "The Talented Mr. Ripley" film was based on. Cry of the Owl was eventually shot as a movie in 1987 by a French director, and was finally re-shot in Canada in 2009. What stands out about this version is the cast, which includes Julia Stiles and British actor Paddy Considine.

I've long been a fan of Considine, and he plays the neurotic Robert Forrester brilliantly. I've seen Considine in a number of roles where he plays an assertive character, so it's interesting to see him as a shell of a man and something of a coward. This was also my first introduction to the stunningly beautiful Caroline Dhavernas, who plays Forrester's sadistic ex-wife.

The plot overview for this movie by Amazon is a bit sensational, particularly in which character is ultimately labeled a stalker. The film starts quite slow, but eventually pulls you in with the bizarre psychological problems most of the major characters seem to deal with. It's not until the second half of the film that the story picks up steam, and you're thrown unpredictable moments and twists along the way. There's a great deal of foreshadowing used in the movie, which seems appropriate considering the superstitions surrounding owls.

Cry of the Owl is not "Silence of the Lambs", so if you're looking for a constant thrills with a crystal-clear ending, this isn't it. I found it to be intriguing and suspenseful, with dark psychological undertones as the film hit its stride.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Low-Key Visual Essay on Fate and Fatality August 16, 2010
You can tell this is a Canadian-made movie, even apart from the skyline shot of Toronto and the nationality of the actors. You can tell it's Canadian by the almost modest, unassuming way in which the murder unfolds.

Then too, any murder or murder plot is almost secondary in the film. This is more a visual essay about coming to a crossroads, about the fatefulness of going in one direction rather than the other. It's about how we start out taking in life from one perspective, then end up starring back at that person we used to be.

There are several of these telling reversals in the film. The man who starts out being a sort of harmless stalker ends up being harmlessly stalked. The watcher ends up being watched.

This film might almost be a bit too low-key for many American audiences, and Paddy Considine, the lead actor, might come across as being almost too unprepossessing and inarticulate. But "Cry of the Owl" leaves a wistful trace of wondering in the air. It's like the faint and elusive scent of violets. We can't be quite sure where it's coming from or what it means. However it touches us somehow and wafts into our memories.

The script for this movie was based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, the same author who wrote "The Talented Mr. Ripley" chronicle. There's no commentary on the DVD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lives of Quiet Desperation December 19, 2010
By Hikari
The novels of Patricia Highsmith have been turned often into cinema with varying degrees of success: "Strangers on a Train"; "Purple Noon"; "The Talented Mr. Ripley". So I was intrigued by this, a Highsmith story with which I was not familiar. The two lead actors, Paddy Considine & Julia Stiles, share a "Bourne" connection: Julia of course, played 'Nicky' in all three Bourne movies, Considine's best-known role is probably that of the tabloid journalist that gets gunned down in a London train station in an early setpiece in "Bourne Ultimatum". Here, Considine regrettably quashes his native English accent as Robert Forrester, a man who has just gone through a bitter divorce & moves to a small, unnamed town & takes a new job to get away from associations of his ex-wife. Though the nondescript locations are meant to suggest the Midwest (Highsmith set it in Pennsylvania), one can tell by the accents of the supporting actors that it was actually filmed in Canada.

Robert is deeply unhappy & emotionally fragile . . .just prior to the divorce, he'd had a pretty bad mental breakdown, and now he's living alone in a tiny rented house in Nowheresville. On his drive home from work, he comes across Jenny's (Julia Stiles) house, set in a rather remote rural area, and is drawn by the lights on in her rooms & the pretty picture of happy domesticity she presents as she goes about her homely tasks: cooking, having dinner with her boyfriend. Robert is a nightly visitor to Jenny's, and although his motives are not sinister, try explaining that to the young woman when she catches him prying. Despite this unpromising meeting, the two feel a kinship with one another from the start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Kafka with a Vengeance.' April 10, 2011
THE CRY OF THE OWL is a tense, somewhat disjointed story with Kafkaesque overtones ('marked by surreal distortion and a sense of impending danger'): had the film been distributed with the information that it taken from a 1962 novel by Patricia Highsmith ('Strangers on a Train', 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' and the follow-up novels with that character, etc) it would have likely garnered a larger audience. It is a strange psychological thriller that slowly works its way under the viewer's skin. The screenplay was written by director Jamie Thaves who successfully captures Highsmith's extraordinary story.

Robert Forrester (Paddy Considine) is a troubled, depressed but decent young man who retreats from the big city and his ex-wife for the tranquility of a small town in Pennsylvania. For some not obvious reason he begins to night stalk a young woman Jenny Thierolf (Julia Stiles), gazing in the dark at the apparently happy Jenny alone in her secluded house. Jenny inadvertently befriends Robert despite the fact that Jenny is in a relationship with Greg Wyncoop (James Gilbert): Greg confronts Robert, a fight ensues and Robert flees after saving Greg from drowning in the river. In a twist of circumstances Jenny begins to stalk Robert, admitting that she has fallen in love with him, but Robert avoids her advances as he is still in the process of an ugly divorce with his wife Nickie (Caroline Dhavernas), a strange behaving woman who feeds on Robert's lack of self worth. When Greg goes missing Robert becomes the prime suspect. With the police on his case the 'crime' becomes threatening, and in typical Highsmith fashion, everything twists and turns at the end, creating a claustrophobic and irrational series of events until the story ends with some questions answered and others left hanging.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid drama explores intriguing themes
"The Cry of the Owl" is a 2009 Canadian psychological-drama with thriller elements based on the Patricia Highsmith novel. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Wuchak
2.0 out of 5 stars A Stalker Gets Stalked
This script needed more work to make it less illogical and forced. Hitchcock might have made something out of it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by mr. contrarian
4.0 out of 5 stars Harbingers and twists of fate
The Cry of the Owl is from a Patricia Highsmith novel,remember the Ripley books and screen spin-offs?That was a major psychopathic killer. Read more
Published 13 months ago by technoguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie
Good Movie. This movie worked well in my player. I am glad it worked well. Thank you you for such a great product.
Published 22 months ago by Judy M. Owens
4.0 out of 5 stars I cry foul on the reviews
For full disclosure, I did not see the first 10 minutes of this film. I am going to watch the beginning in the next week to see what I missed, as I feel that there is something... Read more
Published on October 22, 2012 by California Dreaming
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, but not macabre...
The flick moves at a surprising, if improbable, pace. Stiles and Considine give their characters realistic passion, albeit generally unrequited. Read more
Published on July 31, 2012 by Lawrence Bird
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Know What Went Wrong
I have to admit that I am a fan of the source novel by Patricia Highsmith. I have read the novel three times already in my life and I am sure I will again at some point. Read more
Published on February 27, 2012 by Jeffrey T. Kane
1.0 out of 5 stars Born Loser
I get what the premise of this movie careful what you wish for, you don't know what is going on with a person until you step in their shoes, don's stalk someone- yadda... Read more
Published on February 25, 2012 by LILY
1.0 out of 5 stars What????
I thought this movie was stupid. I never got it at all. The ending was strange and left me asking: "What????"
Published on September 29, 2011 by E. Speaks
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird and creepy
This movie could have been better. It kept you guessing about everything, but left you feeling just,,,meh! I was disappointed in the acting.
Julia was good, just not great! Read more
Published on August 24, 2011 by Amazon Customer
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