In 1966, in North Bend, Oregon, the runaway Kristen is captured by the police after burning down a farmhouse and is locked in the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital. Kristen is introduced to Dr. Gerald Stringer, who uses experimental therapy. Then she meets the inmates Emily, Sarah, Zoey and Iris and the tough nurse Lundt. During the night and in the shower later, Kristen sees the ghost of a woman and she learns that she is Alice Leigh Hudson, a mysterious wicked intern that has disappeared. When Iris is ready to go home, she is attacked by the ghost of Alice in the basement and murdered. She vanishes and the inmates decide to seek Iris out. Then Sarah is abducted by the Alice and also killed; the next one is Emily. Meanwhile Kristen escapes from her room and meets Zoey, expecting to protect her. However, Zoey is kidnapped by Alice and Kristen runs to Dr. Stringer's office. She snoops his desk and finds a report with the truth about Alice. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Although Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as electroshock, is still used today in the U.S., it is only used as a last resort, with patient consent (except in the most extreme cases), and with the patient anesthetized, not awake and screaming like a tortured banshee as depicted in the film. Also, the ECT machines used in the U.S. today make the procedure quick and relatively painless (e.g., no noticeable twitching or spasming of the muscles). However, the movie is not set in present time but rather in the 60s, as Dr Stringer revealed during his last session with Iris. See more »
If one didn't see veteran filmmaker John Carpenter's name on this production, they might not believe he actually was responsible. As was said in another review, this is not the return to form we fans of Carpenter were hoping for, after his almost decade long self imposed break. It's not badly made or anything, just routinely written and acted; it will have experienced horror fans shaking their heads with disappointment. It just doesn't have anything to really distinguish it from other low budget genre films taking up space on shelves. The story takes place at one of those insane asylums that seemingly only cater to smoking hot young babes (not that this reviewer is complaining on that score). The new arrival is Kristen (Amber Heard), who'd set a farmhouse on fire. She insists she's not insane, natch, and soon she and her fellow inmates have their lives threatened by a mysterious long haired entity that seemingly wandered in from a Japanese horror film. All of this leads to a climactic revelation we've seen done before, all done in the classic style of having one character explain everything just in case we didn't get the point on our own. Carpenter does infuse the film with atmosphere, a respectable amount of it, to give it some effectiveness, but relies on jump scares just a little too often. The movie works best when it's simply enveloping the viewer in its ambiance. That said, Heard *is* a compulsively watchable lead, a stunner *and* a capable actress who can get us on her side. Her fellow hotties fare reasonably well: Danielle Panabaker (of the horror remakes "Friday the 13th" and "The Crazies"), Mamie Gummer (the spitting image of her mom Meryl Streep), Mika Boorem, Lyndsy Fonseca, and Laura-Leigh. Jared Harris is likable enough as the psychiatrist who seems to have her best interests in mind, although the other staff includes stereotypical, grim faced meanies including an obvious Nurse Ratched clone (Susanna Burney). There's some graphic violence, but not that much blood, and the vengeance-crazed spirit is not among Gregory Nicotero's and Howard Berger's best work. Then again, this whole thing strikes one as exactly the kind of thing people do to collect a paycheck. It's professionally done, but is also extremely forgettable in the end. The last second shock ending was hardly necessary. Six out of 10.
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