Inoperable Review - An Ambitious Time-Looper Lacking Surgical Precision - Dread Central
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Inoperable Review – An Ambitious Time-Looper Lacking Surgical Precision



Starring Danielle Harris, Jeff Denton, Katie Keene, Chris Hahn

Directed by Christopher Lawrence Chapman

Inoperable works best at its most ambiguous – when a quantum-time-paradox-altering hurricane traps Danielle Harris inside a purgatory-esque hospital – before even further complications are introduced (and yes, my opening statement is intended to be as ridiculous as it sounds). This movie is bonkers from the first “reset.” A little Late Shift, a little Before I Fall. Director Christopher Lawrence Chapman sets out to fry your synapses for some 70ish minutes as history beguilingly repeats itself with increasingly gory regards. That I can accept. But a minutes-long finale that attempts to rewire the preceding eighty? It’s a miracle we’re able to stay with Chapman that long – but luck, as often happens, is pushed a reboot too far.

Ms. Harris stars as Amy Barrett, a hospital patient who comes-to as a hurricane rocks the Bay General facility. Staff is scarce and a message urges evacuation, but Amy quickly realizes worse powers may be at work. Orderlies ignore her, a pastor wanders the hallways, screams reverberate – and then she gets a nosebleed that sends her back to square one. Same room, same clothes. This time she meets cop Ryan (Jeff Denton) and party girl Jen (Katie Keene). As the trio sets out for answers, what’s discovered is – in summation – savage weather opened a government-bred time paradox rift where anyone can only leave the hospital as they entered (Ryan and Jen together, Amy alone), and every time they die with the storm overhead (hospital staff experiment on their patients), hell starts anew.

You thought you hated hospitals already? Try staying in one where the doctors have turned to mad scientists, harvesting organs from donors who just reappear after dying. SHHHH. It makes sense.

Or, like, it kind of makes sense?

It doesn’t make sense – f*#k it.

In the suspended reality of a Twilight Zone like realm, Inoperable can be appreciated for pursuing ambitious story angles. None of them with scientific backing – and hilariously explained by rambling characters better represented as homeless doomsday soothsayers – but sure, we’ll take Ryan frantically blabbering about conservation levity, quantum particle labs and paradoxical time anomalies out of absolutely nowhere. Much like how we immediately get started with Amy’s realization that things are most certainly not alright, from doctors ripping intestines out of conscious men to stab-happy nurses. It’s all blissfully random and rather batty – space/time altering hurricanes typically reserved for SYFY loglines – but not without hysterical intrigue, admitted.

To no shock, Harris is a big reason for any kind of draw – but that’s not to overshadow her co-stars Jeff Denton and Katie Keene. The three of them, forced to play dumb while also contemplating the vast mysteries of paradoxical loopage; running for their lives from treatment professionals with dastardly intent. Tortured, sliced and sedated against their will, each of them portraying correct amounts of limitless questioning mixed with necessary fear. Harris a veteran of the genre, capable of carrying scenes that feature nothing more than an echoey hallway with a flickering overhead light. Together, this trio picks each other’s brains (both figuratively and physically) with passable survival chemistry when not hindered by the unexplained weirdness going on – which, unfortunately, happens more than we’d like.

Chapman, alongside co-writer Jeff Miller, loses what genre goodwill is established during a finale so wholly unnecessary and full of convolution. One of those “Oh, you thought shit was weird before? Get ready for this twist!” kind of rearrangements where nothing was what it appeared to be – if you even had a clue – with even less context. Amy’s sister coming into play, imagination running rampant, psychiatric puzzle pieces falling (everywhere but) into place, and a whole bunch of exposition we didn’t need. Commit to being the crazy horror flick that never wants to make sense and cut your losses! Any balance between nutzo mayhem and soul-searching levity just a bit too forced and heavily lopsided.

That, in a nutshell, is what makes Inoperable merely an excessive exercise in challenging story perceptions and not a more involved manipulation of deathly consequences akin to Happy Death Day. It begs you not to worry about details and just enjoy the ride out of convenience – then flips a last-minute tonal switch. Fun until becoming a chore, when logic is outright torched. A few deliciously queasy moments of spilled inerts, some zany ideas, but Christopher Lawrence Chapman ultimately gets lost in his own tangled web of plotted ridiculousness. Few explanations, hyper conceptualization, and an ending that just doesn’t stick. Do not watch unless you’re willing to pay attention – and even then, good luck.

  • Inoperable


Whatever goodwill Inoperable earns by asserting its own terms is ultimately squandered come the film’s even-more-convoluted finale. A twisty exploration at first, but sustainability is not Christopher Lawrence Chapman’s friend.

User Rating 3 (20 votes)
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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror



Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time



Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

Directed by Warren Speed

The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

  • Film
User Rating 2.88 (16 votes)
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The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods



Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

Directed by Martin Gooch

Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

  • Film


Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

User Rating 3.53 (15 votes)
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