Seymour Parrish works as a photo developer in a store and has an obsession with a family who have been using the service for almost a decade, feeling that he is part of the family and collecting the photos of them.
One Hour Photo makes you quite thankful that we have been moved to digital and now smart phones for many years now, the thought of someone taking an extra copy of the films that you take in to be developed it utterly terrifying. Although I am sure we are now at the point where young people watching this film won’t even have any idea about film for photographs and having to wait days or like the title of this film an hour if it wasn’t too busy! Having no idea if the photos you took were actually any good and then finding out they were blurry!
It was a different time that is for sure and this film makes you realise that people could have done anything they wanted with your family photos. That is what Sey does in this film, he has mental health issues that is never in doubt. A loner who pretty much lives for his job and he is obsessed with the Yorkin family. They have been taking in films to get developed for many years and he has seen Jakob grow up to the 9 year old that has just had his most recent birthday party.
It all seems quite harmless to begin with as he is just nice to the family and the majority of people coming into the store. However when we see his house and the collage he has on the wall made up of years and years of family photos this creates a very bad vibe and alarm bells begin to go off. Although we cannot really imagine at that point just how bad this had the potential to get!
It creates some rather strange moments as well and by the end we are unsure what events really happened and what events were fantasies in Sey’s head. That is something that makes this an edge of your seat film at times. Especially when his dreams are dashed finding out that Will is having an affair, because Maya Burson just happens to take photos of the pair to be developed by you guessed it Sey! This puts events in place that cannot be undone.
While Robin Williams performance is utterly fantastic because he is so terrifying in this truly creepy role. Considering he has had a fair share of very serious roles we still think more about those comedic performances. This is on another level and he really lets himself go with it and is easily the best thing about the film. The thing is though after Williams performance it doesn’t really have a whole lot going for it beyond that, the plot tries to have amazing twists but with so many unanswered questions and then the ending with that final photograph it just makes you wonder about everything you have just witnessed and that was not in a good way at all.