Here's a bizarre thriller from Holland which doesn't really go anywhere despite an intriguing premise - and bizarrely ends up caught up in the dream world of a raving maniac! LIFESPAN is similar to films like FRAGMENT OF FEAR and SPIDER LABYRINTH in its depiction of an outsider finding himself going deeper and deeper into a world of mystery and death but it doesn't come close to the power and effectiveness of those two movies. Despite being classified in the "horror" section, the only true horror comes from the scene of a gruesome hanging, and otherwise this sits firmly in the mysterythriller genre.
The plot doesn't really ever get too deep but despite this, I still found myself confused by the film. This is a shame as it starts off well, with much promise of things to come, and an oppressive air of mystery as well. The Amsterdam locations are used very well to give the film an unusual, European look and the acting isn't bad either, although the post-dubbing is occasionally echoey and unrealistic. Hiram Keller takes the lead role of the young scientist caught up in the intrigue and does a pretty good job of it in my opinion, although his droning voice-over is pretty sleep-inducing. Tina Aumont is good as the femme fatale, and Euro-favourite Klaus Kinski also pops up as a mystery Swiss who hangs around on street corners mysteriously.
Sadly as the film goes on, it begins to become apparent that nothing much is going to happen in it, despite vain attempts to throw a bit of kinky sex and grave-robbing into the brew to make it appeal to exploitation fans. In the end it becomes irritatingly insubstantial and the lack of any real, interesting, explanation for the mysterious events is pretty annoying. LIFESPAN is a missed opportunity which should only be watched at a last resort for the spooky atmosphere it contains, and at least it's short. But the lack of any decent action or plot development is very boring and its one of the few films that has nearly sent me to sleep.
Review by Leofwine_draca from the Internet Movie Database.