Browsing: Mark Hartley

Reviews 2012_12_03-Patrick_0149-640x426

A remake of the little known 1978 film of the same name, Patrick (:Evil Awakens) is a throwback to a style of filmmaking that is rarely seen today. There is little subtlety in Mark Hartley’s tribute to Hammer-style productions but while this is partially the film’s strength, it is also its weakness.

At a remote, extremely private psychiatric clinic that specialises in housing comatose patients, Nurse Kathy Jacquard (Sharni Vinson) is beginning her first day at work. Under the watchful, suspicious and unfriendly eye of Matron Cassidy (Rachel Griffiths) she goes about her duties tending to the unresponsive patients until she discovers Patrick (Jackson Gallagher) in Room 15. Sensing something untoward, and a strange, developing connection, she oversteps her responsibilities before being brought back to normality by her promiscuous and fun-loving colleague Nurse Williams (Peta Sergeant). As her developing relationship with Patrick draws suspicion from head of the clinic Doctor Roget (Charles Dance) Kathy realises that there is more to this particular patient than she first thought and begins to fear for her own life, and that of those around her.

Fantastic Fest 2013 Almost Human (dir. Joe Begos)

Patrick is a film about a nurse who lands a job taking care of comatose patients. Kathy (Sharni Vinson) genuinely cares for her patients and takes an interest in Patrick (Jackson Gallagher) because she believes that he responds to her. The hospital is dark, creepy and filled with otherwise lifeless patients that do creepy things in the night. The film doesn’t work because the frequent jump scares do not pay off. The score is quite beautiful but overpowers the film and telegraphs the next jump scare. The premise, tone and mood are there but it’s difficult to care for anything happening on screen. All of the actors gave it their all. Sharni Vinson has demonstrated skill in the midst of a mini genre run in her career (You’re Next). Redeeming qualities include: Vinson, Charles Dance, wonderfully eerie set design and it’s shot incredibly well.

Fantastic Fest 2013 patrick-2

After killing his mother and her lover some years before, Patrick is the comatose patient in room 15 of a remote, private psychiatric clinic. Stars Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths and Sharni Vinson. Directed by Mark Hartley.

Film Festival patrick2013_2

We are in such short supply of original horror movies Down Under that it is a bit of a novelty when one of the few that does exist is remade. Never mind that the word “remake” has become a dirty word thanks to the unbroken string of American horror film remakes since Marcus Nispel turned a souped up The Texas Chain Saw Massacre into box office gold, there is a renewed sense of curiosity when one of “our own” gets a chance at a new life. Curiosity as to which one has been the chosen one (there is so little to choose from in the back catalogue of Australian horror films) and how it will turn out. Will it be a pointless, embarrassing rehash like the dreadful The Fog (2005) or will the one at the helm mix it up like Rob Zombie surprisingly did with Halloween (2007)? The mere fact that an Australian horror film original or not may be enough to get gore hounds excited - they are so few and far between save for a handful of recent post-Scream goodies like Wolf Creek, The Loved Ones and Lake Mungo in the last 10 years.