Wisconsin Death Trip

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Released 2001

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Wisconsin Death Trip

Movie Summary

Director:
James Marsh
Released:
2001
Rating:
R
Wisconsin Death Trip is the story of a small Wisconsin town at the end of the 19th century. Michael Lesy put together an archive of photos with extracts from the local newspaper of the town of Black River Falls to create the book that inspired this film. The pictures show a portrait of a town caught up in madness and violence. With suicide, murder, ghosts and hauntings occurring all over town, Black River Falls is shown as a grim place, caught up in a pattern of events that seems inescapable. Adding to the picture are the records of the Mendota Asylum for the Insane, located very close to the town. The black and white photos included in the film are a haunting contrast to contemporary footage of the town. Covering four seasons, the film reflects authentic events with chilling consequences. The movie was directed by James Marsh and narrated by Ian Holm.

Metacritic Score

  • 67

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer William Arnold

    It's a parade of insanity, murder, suicide, arson and crimes of passion; delivered in a style as sardonic and tongue-in-cheek as a Vincent Price monologue; complemented by deadpan ...

  • 63

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    The film is not exactly a documentary, and not quite a period horror movie either. But it has elements of both. At its best, it's hypnotic and provocative.

  • 42

    Portland Oregonian Shawn Levy

    Takes a fabulous idea and overplays it, making an average picture out of some truly extraordinary material.

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    Categories

    Documentary

    Themes

    Independent, History