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Two young men, isolated up in the mountains, performing bizarre and questionable experiments on each other No, it isn't an early sequel to "Brokeback Mountain" but a new & clever independent horror film that I hope will be regarded as a minor cult gem within a couple of years! The screenplay of "Subject Two" is based on Mary Shelley's almighty "Frankenstein"-tale in which an intelligent but overly obsessed scientist brings back an unwilling victim from the dead. Only, times have severely changed by now and, instead of lightening storms or voodoo rituals, science now uses Nano-technologies, cloning techniques and loads of other hi-tech stuff I totally didn't understand! Dr. Franklin Vick (got it? Victor Frankenstein? Yeah OK, you get it ) lures the anti-social medical student Adam to his remote mountain cabin where he kills him repeatedly but successfully brings him back to life every single time. These intense experiments have a severe impact on Adam, of course, and pretty soon he turns into an emotional and physical wreck. This film contains multiple praiseworthy elements that I haven't spotted in other, high-budgeted horror productions in a very long time already. First and foremost, there's the hugely original Aspen, Colorado filming location! The total lack of civilization and the false hope for rescue is perfectly illustrated by the snowy mountains and unbearably cold winds. The limited number of cast members contributes a lot to the power of "Subject Two" as well, also because the male leads give away great performances. Dean Stapleton (who tremendously resemblances Jack Nicholson when he was younger) is genuinely sinister as the doc and Christian Oliver is very convincing as the mentally unstable guinea pig. This isn't exactly a full-blooded horror film, but there's quite a bit of gore and raw violence on display. The dialogs are witty and entirely unexpected the plot takes an ingenious turn near the end! Just for that, "Subject Two" receives one well-deserved extra point. If you have the opportunity to see this smart film by Philip Chidel, don't hesitate!
I saw a screening of this indie film at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival and enjoyed it a great deal. Nicely done, especially on the low budget they had for this. I'm not generally a fan of "horror" (although this may be more suspense/thriller than horror), but found this film keeping me interested with both the plot and the editing that kept things moving. I hope "Subject Two" can find distribution so this filmmaker can bring us more. The choice of Aspen is beautiful to look at and well captured. The isolation the winter scenes promoted helped keep the story taught, and the visuals lovely. The acting is natural and well captured, and even the director has a fascinating part in this film.
What a surprise this film is! It's a quiet, get-absorbed-in-it sort of
horror film, and properly light on gore. The story is similar to Mary
Shelley's Frankenstein, whereas life is created from death in the name
of science. The acting is solid and moving; there is no mugging, no sly
popular culture wink-winks. The focus is on the story, not special
effects, not body count, and there's a steady sense of sadness and
madness that made me not want to watch the bonus features afterward; I
got so drawn into the characters that I did not want their effect on me
altered by watching the actors goof around or discuss the film.
The actor who played Adam, the loner medical student, was wonderful -- and very handsome, to boot. He conveyed very well the pain and isolation that Adam felt, and it made sense why Adam would take part in Dr. Vick's experiment for, in part, he'd finally have a connection with another person, regardless of any personal consequences.
Any faults I found with the film were too minor for me to give them much consideration. It's too nice to finally see a low-budget film that obviously was a work of love and is dedicated to its story, not to getting its talent noticed by making yet another indistinguishable gorefest that is a checklist of a dozen other horror films.
And not once does a screeching cat leap out from a closed cupboard door. Mad props for that, guys.
This was a great movie. Modern Frankenstein story with a twist. The story centers around Dr. Vic and his new assistant (an unhappy medical student named Adam). Separated from the world, hours from any town, Dr. Vic's experiments take a twisted turn. It was filmed entirely around Aspen, CO. The actors literally had to snowmobile hours on end to get to the film site. I really loved this movie. The horror aspect was less apparent, but I didn't mind at all. It speaks a great deal towards the nature of man, and towards our arrogance. The story was great and the acting was awesome!! The special effects were believable and not at all cheesy. Dean Stapleton is incredible. I am curious as to why he has not had other roles. Christian Oliver plays an amazing Adam. The emotion he brings to the part makes the movie. I recommend this to everyone!!!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The reason I went ahead to see this flick was because of the near 6
vote it had and much of the commentary which was rather positive. It is
usually a good way of checking out a movie beforehand but in this case
I felt cheated.
Because even with the best intentions, its impossible to find this movie anything other than it being a complete disaster in every aspect.
Story: The story is no more, no less just as the tagline on the cover. Nothing else happens but a guy being killed, brought back to life, killed, brought back to life etc. There is no sub direction, no subplot or any other elaborate magnification on the whys or the hows. Some have tried in their comments to led u to believe that it has, but there are none. The conversations go like this:
Guy1: "How about that weather ey?" Guy2: "What about it?" Guy1: "Bit moist don't u think?" Guy2: "now that u mention it.." Guy1: "I hate walking in the rain, don't u?" Guy2: "yeah I did that once, I got all wet!" Etc.
Plot: There is no plot, the stuff is just happening without any redeeming explanation as to why or what. They just mention some words as Nanotechnology (which isn't used) and cryogenics (not used either) and this is supposed to interest the viewer to go ahead and see it through. They could just as well have mentioned Kamasutra techniques which would have had no baring on the plot either.
<---here is that spoiler but since u should really skip this film u might as well just read it--->
Plot twist/ending: They tried to have one, but hopelessly failed and again I can not believe someone actually wrote that it had an unexpected twist at the end. Anyone who has ever seen a horror flick before in his life must have secretly been praying at the beginning of the movie that the corpse in the snow was not going to be alive again at the end. But OMG!!! that's exactly what happens. My wife and I couldn't stop laughing when it did. And the living corpse turned out to be the real doctor. "So what?" I ask u. It's not like the real doctor would have done anything different opposed to the guy impersonating him (the assistant, subject nr. 1). that's not a twist, it's lamer than lame and just about the worst thing they could have come up with.
Performance: The performance of the actors was overall good. Some did claim that dr. Vic bore a too striking resemblance to Jack Nicholson, to me a young Michael Ironside came to mind.
Special effects: Someone wrote about special effects, like if they were even in this movie. Or maybe this person was talking about those pathetic looking contact lenses the main character had on his eyes which made it hard to keep a straight face watching the guy from that point on.
Location: The location of the set is praised by many in the comments, but lets be honest people; a horror/thriller set in an overly sunny and bright snowy environment could not ever work. It made it look like a holiday brochure for crying out loud.
Overall only the acting could have been a lot worse but please, regarding the rest, who in their right minds would seriously find this an enjoyable pastime?
I rate this stinker 2/10. The extra point given for those beautiful blue eyes of Kate (Courtney Mace).
When the antisocial and lonely medical student Adam Schmidt (Christian
Oliver) receives a mysterious e-mail inviting him to participate of a
unique medical research, he accepts the job opportunity and travels to
an isolated snowing area to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. He meets
Dr. Franklin Vick (Dean Stapleton) that kills him cutting his throat
with a hunting knife. When Adam resurrects, Franklin calls him Subject
Two and explains that he is engaged in an unethical medical research,
bringing dead to life. Along the days, Adam is killed and resurrected
over and over again, with Franklin improving his research, until the
day Adam decides to leave the isolated spot.
The weird "Subject Two" has a promising and intriguing beginning, with a youngster being killed and resurrected as part of an experiment. However, the pointless story becomes repetitive and boring, with the repetition of the same situation (Adam killed and brought back to life by a guy playing God), having a terrible ending. The best this movie can offer is the wonderful landscapes in Aspen and the blue eyes of Courtney Mace. My vote is four.
Title (Brazil): "Cobaia" ("Subject")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'd never heard of "Subject Two" but when it turned up on Sundance
Channel recently the description sounded interesting so I recorded it
and checked it out. Sundance's program guide described it as a "horror"
film but that's not entirely accurate. Perhaps it's a "Horror/Drama?"
Either way, I was hoping for more horror and less drama. Maybe this
would be considered a horror movie for people who don't watch horror
The story is intriguing enough: Adam Schmidt is a slacker medical student who takes a job offer sent to him via e-mail (doesn't he know that those never turn out to be good ideas?) by Doctor Vick, a mysterious scientist who lives and works in a remote mountain cabin in Colorado. Their initial meeting has shades of "Re-Animator," as the doctor fills him in on his research into life and death, then without warning, strangles Adam and injects him with his experimental rejuvenation serum. Adam eventually wakes up, of course, and he then spends the rest of the movie as Vick's guinea pig, getting killed and brought back, killed and brought back, over and over again. Of course, each revival comes with its own set of problems, both physical and emotional, for Adam.
Sounds intriguing, but after the first couple of "revival" scene the novelty wears off. In between each death scene Adam and the Doctor do a lot of talking and not much else. The monotony is briefly broken when Adam encounters a deer hunter trespassing on the property who has to be dealt with (lest he bring unwanted attention to the project) but by the three quarter mark I was yawning and wishing the Doc would just put poor Adam down for good and leave him there.
"Subject Two" has decent performances, gorgeous wintertime Colorado scenery, and a couple of shocks, but it runs out of steam quickly. Count me out if there's ever a "Subject Three."
I highly recommend this movie to aspiring film makers out there and to
everyone else. It just goes to show what you can do with no budget,
great atmosphere,some ingenuity, and a good script.
The movie itself is obviously not 'perfect' nothing is, but considering what was put into it to me its a hidden gem and while its not a total gorefest,it has some decent brutal scenes and shocking moments. It is definitely a great new take on an old tale.
The actors were great, the story had a nice even pace, was original, and everything else was definitely well thought out here. I gave this movie and 8 because it totally deserves it if only for the fact that these people did with a few bucks what Hollywood can't achieve for $50 million.
It obviously want for everyone who watched it after reading the reviews, but you can't please everyone all of the time.If you enjoy a nice independent ,atmospheric chiller. then check this out
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Movies, like all other stories, are aimed at and suited for different
audiences. Some are meant for children, some for adults and some for
adolescents who like to think they're adults. Movies that come out in
the Summer are aimed at a mass audience that doesn't want to think to
hard about their entertainment. Movies that come out toward the end of
the year are aiming for awards and want to be admired more than they
want to entertain. Subject Two is, or at least should've been, intended
for a small but unique audience - students taking classes in film
That's because reviewing this film would be a great final exam for such a class. It's made with care and skill and is definitely good enough to hold your interest, yet it also has some very large and glaring flaws. Those flaws shouldn't really detract from an otherwise worthy effort, but you shouldn't overpraise a movie because it's better than those soul-numbingly bad original films on the Sci Fi Channel.
Subject Two concerns Adam Schmidt (Christian Oliver), a medical student who can't abide the ethical constraints of modern science. He's summoned to the snowy wilderness of the Colorado mountains by an anonymous offer of mysterious employment. After trudging his way up to a secluded cabin to meet a Doctor Franklin Vick (Dean Stapleton), Schmidt is asked if he'd like to assist in experiments in cryonics, nanotechnolgy and such stuff. Schmidt agrees and is then strangled to death with a garrote. It turns out the experiment is Schmidt being repeatedly killed by various means and then resurrected through a special serum.
That's a genuinely clever idea for a story. Just when you think there's nothing more to be done with the Frankenstein concept, you find Subject Two sitting on the shelves in your local video store. In addition to that clever idea, the movie is also competently directed and, since it was actually shot at a mountain top cabin in Colorado, uses the gorgeous natural scenery to great effect. And after such a strong start, you'll want to see where the story ends up going.
Unfortunately, it doesn't go very far. The idea of Subject Two could have led to some fascinating explorations of life, death and killing. What would it be like to kill someone yesterday and have lunch with them today, all the while knowing you're going to kill them again tomorrow? What does it mean to kill someone over and over and over again? What is it like to know you're going to die, but also know it isn't going to last? Subject Two is exactly what science fiction was meant to be, taking human beings and putting them in unreal situations and thinking out how they would respond. The movie never lives up to that promise, though. The filmmakers had a clever idea, but they were content to stop with just that one idea. It falls back into a predictable and conventional narrative where the experiment starts to go wrong and honestly, it kind of peters out after that. As it doesn't delve deeply into the human elements of the story, it's also fairly vague on the sci fi aspects of the tale. The movie implies that the resurrections are changing Adam Schmidt, but how and into what is never specific. When the experiment starts to go wrong, why it's not working is never clear and what is done to try and fix things is never explained at all.
The actors do a fine job but even though just two characters are on screen for almost the entire film, they're never clearly defined. We're introduced to Adam Schmidt as one sort of person but he then becomes totally different after dying the first time. The man he meets in the cabin switches from calculating mad scientist to scared and uncertain at random times throughout the film, not because the actor is doing a poor job but because that's what the story requires.
The only unequivocally negative thing about Subject Two is a glaringly lame "twist" ending. It wouldn't have been a good twist in even the best of circumstances but because the movie doesn't have much of a real ending, the lameness of it smacks you in the fact like 7 day old salmon.
It's easy to rip a bad film and just as simple to gush over a great one. Movies like Subject Two, though, deserve more praise than lambasting because they start out strong and fall short. That puts it far ahead of many films and filmmakers that aren't even trying.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unsuccessful student Christian Oliver (as Adam Schmidt) is smart
enough; but, he is failing to make the medical school grade. Possibly,
this is due to his frequent headaches, and an anti-social disposition.
Mr. Oliver explains, "I think I'm allergic to people." After receiving
a "F" on his ethics essay, Oliver decides to "drop out"; and, quickly,
he responds to an invitation from mysterious doctor Dean Stapleton (as
Ethan, aka "Dr. Vick"). So, Oliver goes to live with Mr. Stapleton, in
an isolated, snowbound cabin. You should know Stapleton has gruesome
plans for Oliver.
Stapleton wants to murder his house-guest, and bring him back to life.
"Subject Two" is quite an intriguing take on the old life-creating "Frankenstein" plot. The film is very bright, and well-photographed. The lonely cabin, set in the vast and sparsely populated mountains, is a worthy setting. Rich Confalone's photography is beautiful. Writer/director Philip Chidel, who also appears as "Subject One", and the two lead actors are also excellent. The story could have been a little clearer. For example well, you'll see Still, it's an interesting slice of intellectual gore, and a definite career peak for those involved.
Its very weirdness is most welcome.
******* Subject Two (2006) Philip Chidel ~ Christian Oliver, Dean Stapleton, Philip Chidel, Courtney Mace
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