Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Gina Philips, Stuart Brennan, Alex Hassell, Kellie Shirley
Directed by Curtis Radclyffe
Distributed by New Line Home Video
Archaeologists. These people have stirred up lots of shit in the horror genre. Will they ever learn? From cracking open cursed tombs to disturbing the balance of things by digging around places that were long forgotten, someone’s got to put their proverbial foot down and take away their chisels and brushes before existence as we know it is flushed down the goddamned toilet. Yep, there’s only one thing worse than an archaeologist, and that’s a new archaeologist. You know, the nosy folks who are just not quite there yet? It takes years to get your shit together. These fuckers will doom us all. It’s inevitable.
This is just such a tale.
While excavating the underbelly of 17th Century plague hospital (as if there’s any reason in the world to go poking around in one of those), our heroine Anna (Philips) ends up freeing the long bottled up spirit of an evil doctor who got his jollies dismembering patients for his own amusement. See? Told you digging around where you shouldn’t be is never a good idea! What was it that Jud Crandall said in Pet Sematary? “Sometimes, dead is better?” Well, brother, buried is a pretty sweet option, too. Where was I? Oh yeah, evil ghost doctor freed to kill again. Got it. As luck would have it, poor Anna is not alone. Four teens out on a drunken bender also end up walking the rotted halls of the hospital, the perfect fodder for the medical deviant. Can Anna and company find a way out of this deadly maze? Hopefully not. This is a horror film, folks. We need that body count to be as padded as possible.
The Sick House is an odd little film. Star Gina Phillips turns in a rock-solid performance, as does the rest of the cast, and there are parts in it that are quite effective; yet, even though I just watched this movie, for some reason I can’t really recall much of it. Never a good sign. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that this flick is bad by any means; it’s just kind of void. Maybe that’s because the film’s events become horribly convoluted along the way. There are things about The Sick House that make slight to no sense at all. When I’m this cloudy about stuff, I usually re-watch it to see if I can put any of the pieces I may have missed together. Tried that too. Still nothing. Empty. Void.
Maybe the extras can shed some light on things. There are so many questions to be answered! What’s up with the giant crow outfits? How about the Groundhog Day-like elements? Were the kid ghosts helping the doctor? If so, why? Bring on the supplemental material!
Oh … wait …
There isn’t any. Are you kidding me? How could this be? Am I to believe that there was nothing to talk about at all? Apparently so. That’s right, kids, the cold hard truth is that there is not a blessed thing to be found anywhere on this disc other than the film itself. Maybe the people putting together the DVD forgot about what they just watched, too. If so, I can feel their pain and totally relate.
It may sound as if I’m being rather harsh. I don’t mean to be; again, the movie isn’t that bad. Despite its flashy camera work and slick editing, it’s just kind of tired and muddled. Worth a rent, but buyers may want to beware this particular strain of plague.
2 1/2 out of 5
0 out of 5
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