Had it not been for some very favorable reviews on Internet horror sites, I might never have gotten past the schlocky cover art, which makes New Zealand director Scott Reynolds's second outing "The Ugly" look like just another generic monster movie mash.
"The Ugly" is anything but.
Let me give you an analogy: imagine a "Silence of the Lambs" where Clarisse Starling's initial interview with Hannibal Lecter goes poorly, and Lecter breaks free---with a razor blade.
Magnify that nasty little outcome by a thousand. That, my friends, is what this grim, gruesome little charnel-house of a movie delivers, and, remarkably, on a shoestring budget.
The plot, much like "Silence of the Lambs", is about psychologist Dr. Karen Shoemaker (played admirably by Rebecca Hobbs, who makes Jodie Foster's Special Agent Starling look like a piker), who visits vicious young serial killer Simon Cartwright in an insane asylum, where he is held in solitary confinement pending his trial.
She wants to speak with him privately, free from the brooding, watchful stares of his sadistic jailers (played creepily to the last by Shane Bessant and Steve Hall, both of whom added immeasurably to my viewing enjoyment) and the brooding inquisitiveness of asylum director Dr. Marlowe (played by Roy Ward, who is so quietly bizarre that he qualifies for a movie all by himself). She wants to probe into his mind. She wants to gain his trust. She wants to unfetter him, take the shackles off this civilized savage, probe deep into his sick little brain.
And a sick brain it is indeed---Simon Cartwright makes Hannibal Lecter look as sane as George Plimpton.