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Madhouse (2004)

A young psychiatric intern unearths secrets about the mental health facility in which he works.


William Butler


William Butler (story and screenplay), Aaron Strongoni (story)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Leonard ... Clark Stevens
Jordan Ladd ... Sara
Natasha Lyonne ... Alice
Lance Henriksen ... Dr. Franks
Dendrie Taylor ... Nurse Hendricks
Leslie Jordan ... Dr. Morton
Patrika Darbo ... Betty
Christian Leffler Christian Leffler ... Drake
Newell Alexander ... Dr. Douglas
Dan Callahan ... Dr. Hendricks
Mark Holton ... Mr.Hansen
Aaron Strongoni Aaron Strongoni ... Carl
Todd Stites Todd Stites ... Trannie
Rosemary Alexander ... Grace
Muffy Bolding ... Polly Bond


The psychiatric intern Clark Stevens comes to Cunningham Hall, a mental health facility administrated by Dr. Franks, for a training period before his graduation from medical college. He gets close to the resident Sara and to Ben London, a dangerous patient lodged in cell 44 in the basement of the clinic. Clark becomes intrigued with a boy, who seems to be a ghost, and finds that Dr. Franks does not use real medication in the patients. A further investigation shows hidden dark secrets in the clinic. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Let the insanity begin.


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong horror violence/gore and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

30 July 2004 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Ludnica See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Fantasy Fim Fest) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The drug "Risperdex" mentioned in the movie is reference to the real drug Risperdal. However, Risperdal is an antipsychotic, not an antidepressant. See more »


When Clark is first in Dr. Franks office, he looks over the books on the shelf. One of them is labeled "Psychoterapy Pratctices" by Dr. Jess Williams." Obviously it should be spelled "Psychotherapy Practices." See more »


Trannie: I'm so dirty for my daddy.
Drake: I make sure you rot in there for the rest of your life .
Clark Stevens: What's wrong.
Drake: I will teach this freak to show some respect
[Trannie licks the window]
Drake: .
Clark Stevens: Let's just take a break, i'm almost done here, i'll be out in a minute.
Trannie: Why don't you come inside, i'll make us some Remy Martins
[Drake punches the door]
Trannie: [Trannie yells] It's the ones who protest too much that end up wearing their wives panties!
See more »


References Wheel of Fortune (1983) See more »


Screwy Girl
Written by Cecile Morel-Journel
Performed by Tara King Th.
Courtesy of Mudah Peach/Lakeshore Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Unexpectedly Scary, Fairly Original.
18 December 2006 | by Mr_EctoplasmaSee all my reviews

"Madhouse" is one of the best asylum-set horror films I've ever seen (not quite as good as "Session 9", though), and provides for some good spooky entertainment. The film begins with Clark Stevens (Joshua Leonard, "The Blair Witch Project"), who is sent off to intern at a secluded mental institution for the criminally insane. The place is old and has quite a lengthy history. While staying at the asylum, he meets Sara (Jordan Ladd, "Cabin Fever"), a hospital employee, and the two begin to hit it off. Then, one day, Sara takes Clark to the basement of the asylum, which, unlike the rest of the nicely renovated building, is dark, damp, and rotting away. Only the most violent and insane patients are kept in the darkened dungeon-like rooms, and Clark begins to have a conversational relationship with an unseen patient who resides in one of the cells, who seems to know a lot about the hospital's history. But more secrets are unraveled and someone begins murdering people around the hospital, and Clark finds himself responsible to investigate.

I have to admit, this movie really surprised me. I was expecting something along the lines of cheap, straight-to-video trash to be honest, but I was pleasantly surprised with this creepy little mystery thriller. For one, I liked the story. An isolated mental institution with a violent history is a perfect place to set a horror movie - and this film makes good use of it, with the perfectly constructed and very spooky sets. The actors were also very good - Joshua Leonard was convincing as the intuitive intern, and Jordan Ladd really displays her acting skills. Natasha Lyonne also had a role as an insane patient, and she played it very well. Then there's the scares. I've seen hundreds of horror movies, and I am rarely scared by them, but this one succeeded in getting quite a few scares out of me. The scares were very well placed and got my heart pumping pretty fast. One of the scariest had to be the scene with the nurse who is pushed down the stairwell, the camera-work was clever and was the main reason that the bit was so jolting. Very unexpected and very scary.

Another addition to the film's overall creepiness are the patients that reside in the asylum basement, good God they were scary. They're made out to be the most insane, mentally disturbed patients in the building - and that they are, not only in a mental aspect but also physically. The makeup job had them looking beyond scary, and the actors that played them made their characters just flat out bizarre and oddly disturbing. I'm actually surprised that this film never got a wide theater run, because it's easily worthy of it, and is much better than half of the teen-horror trash that is put out there lately.

All things considered, "Madhouse" is a unique and surprisingly scary horror film, and the twist in the end adds the film's overall atmosphere. I was actually scared on a few occasions, which is really rare. And going in, my expectations were low, but this movie really delivered. Try watching it all alone at night, with all the lights off - trust me, you'll get spooked on more than a few occasions. 8/10.

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