I saw BETWEEN WORLDS at Fantastic Fest a few days ago, and I’ve been sitting on it, thinking of it. Not sure if I wanted to review it because I really didn’t know what to make of it. I believe that the only way I could sum a movie like BETWEEN WORLDS, is by describing it as a supernatural episode of Jerry Springer.
This is a spoiler alert, as I just can’t see any way to talk about this movie without discussing some of the things that happens in it.
Nicolas Cage’s character Joe is introduced as an alcoholic truck driver that is a complete and utter emotional wreck, down on his luck with his finances in the toilet. We learn that he is this way because both his wife and daughter tragically died in a fire in their own home.
While refueling at a truck stop, Joe comes across a German woman named Julie, played by Franka Potente, who is being strangled by a man in the restroom. Joe heroically beats the living shit out of this man, but is not rewarded by Julie, who tells him that he does not understand what is happening. Because of a near death experience, when Julie is brought back to there she has the ability to go in between worlds and communicate with spirits. Her daughter Billie (Penelope Mitchell) is currently in the hospital battling for her life, and Julie is doing everything she can to keep her spirit from leaving her body.
Not entirely understanding the situation, Joe goes out of his way to help Julie and her daughter by driving her to the hospital and sticking around, mostly motivated by the chance of getting laid and potentially getting a message sent to his passed loved ones. And you know what? We get to see a lot of Nicolas cage boning three different women in this movie. At one point, his character is actually reading aloud a book written by Nicolas Cage whilst having sex with one of these women. I believe it was called “Memories by Nicolas Cage”. The book looked fake, and I couldn’t find any evidence of it actually existing online when I looked.
Ah yes, you’re probably wondering where the supernatural Jerry Springer part comes in exactly. Well, as it turns out Joe’s dead ex wife Mary (Lydia Hearst) actually hijacks Billie’s body in the hospital. Things get awkward as he is staying with Julie and her daughter Billie who is possessed by Mary, whom Joe is very much not over.
Joe is a very weak willed man, as he has been in a desperate emotional state for quite some time, and is full of self hatred. After he learns who Billie really is, the movie just gets and more fucked up form there. Eventually Joe learns another devastating truth, and opts ends himself in one of the most Nicolas Cage-iest ways possible.
I left the theater pondering what in the world had I just watched. I’m not really surprised about that since it is indeed Nicholas Cage movie. Was there a real message to all of this? I don’t really think so. Grasping at straws: I would say that this is a movie that warns things happen for a reason, and you can’t control the order of the universe without devastating consequences. Our human minds just are not equipped to deal with it, and thankfully this could never happen in real life.
BETWEEN WORLDS is a depraved comedy(?) with Nicolas Cage. If that’s your thing, have at it!