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Messy Demonic Cooties
on 17 October 2008
Warning- Major spoilers ahead.
Oh dear, this one was a bit of a mess. Granted, I absolutely loved the idea of an understaffed hospital stuck in some kind of creepy limbo where the poor inhabitants would succumb to a grisly fate one by one, but it really did miss the mark when it tried to come up with anything coherent. Usually I enjoy that 'keep ya guessing' approach but this one was a wee bit too vague for its own good and the end result just seemed all a bit sloppy to me.
One minute we have some incredibly melting mystery patient and the next, we have medical staff going completely nutters and climbing the walls. Literally. Apparently they're all infected with some kind of virus that turns them into possessed raving lunatics before reducing them to green goo. Kinda like The Exorcist meets the Ebola Virus (but not quite). There's a distinctive 'Reap what you sow' vibe going on, but it's really not that effective when the main characters are just floundering around and not really doing anything about it. Their running about darkened wards got both laughable and annoying. Why no one turned on the still working lights was a mystery to me.
I also found them to be quite an inept bunch of medical professionals, especially when faced with a serious epidemic. Wrapping one deranged nurse in a flimsy plastic sheet without even restraining her to the bed first, made me despair of these guys quarantine techniques. Surprise! She got out. No wonder their hospital was on the skids... This lack of common sense kind of killed any credibility and sympathy I may have felt for them and their situation.
Alternatively, I felt there was a lot of potential secondary characters that were just wasted in this movie. We have a little boy who seems unaffected and scared but is never focused on, some young disgraced doctor who ends up practicing his suturing but gets kinda forgotten about until the end, some guy with a head injury and some other doctor who basically sleeps through the whole thing. There's also a female psych doctor who seems to have some rather interesting insights about the perceptions of the human mind, but basically bogs off and doesn't come back until she's just in time to be made useless all over again.
Other than a very nicely done creepy senile old lady who talks to her family through mirrors, the rest of the cast are fairly dull predictable fodder for the nasty goo infection and you'll see that 'surprise twist' coming a mile away.
Overall, I feel this is a horror movie with a great set-up but let down by a somewhat disappointing execution.