David Cronenberg's portfolio of work always frustrated me. You could see the creative genius behind the many, varied stories he told but they always seemed to come up a bit short or go over the top or strain credulity. I used to believe 'Naked Lunch' was his best work, especially considering the obtuse source material. However, this is the director's crowning achievement.
AHoV finally gets the balance between story, characters and violence/horror/gore that his previous films could never quite find. The pacing of the film is absolutely perfect and aftre starting slowly, accelerates to the unusual conclusion. Perhaps the greatest surprise of the film is that after the initial curveball, there are no more real surprises - it unfolds in a wholly believable yet gripping storyline.
One constant in Cronenberg's work is excellence in casting and here there is no let-down. Mortenson, Hurt, Bello and Harris are brilliant. The couple of poor reviews here seem to be due to disgruntled Lord of the Rings fans. It should be needless to say that this is NOT Lord of the Rings but some people are not too bright.
As the Amazon review states, this film is "worthy of serious study and widespread acclaim".