alive | rob grant | chuck mccue | jules vincent | thomas cocquerel | camille stopps | angus macfadyen | thriller | canada | chantal perron | gerrick winston | zoe marlett | lisa moreau | nightmare film festival | nff
Director: Rob Grant
Writer: Chuck McCue and Jules Vincent
Starring: Thomas Cocquerel, Camille Stopps and Angus Macfadyen
I recently checked this film out at the Nightmares Film Festival. I actually got to meet one of the writers in the lobby before the screening, Jules Vincent. To get into this, the official synopsis is two young adults wake up all bloodied in hospital beds not knowing what happened or where they are. An older doctor tries to help them, but scares them instead.
This film kicks off with Thomas Cocquerel, the male patient, waking up. He gets off of a hospital bed and starts to crawl down the hallway. The hospital looks to be abandoned and in disrepair. In the background we see a man walk by. He turns out to be a doctor, Angus Macfadyen. He takes the man back to the bed. It appears that he saved this male patient and brought him back to life. He has flashbacks to something, but they are hazy. He could be a cop who was shot.
In the next bed over is Camille Stopps. She can’t remember who she is either. The doctor keeps coming to feed them and try to help them heal. He gives them some kind of injection. As time goes on and they become healthier, they want to leave and seek out those that are looking for them. The male patient starts to think that he might not be a cop, as he has another flashback. During all of this, the doctor becomes more and more agitated as his patients plan their escape.
The first thing I really wanted to touch on for this film is that the feeling of isolation is great. We get images that his hospital is in the middle of nowhere and there are just mountains and forests as far as the eye can see. Not only that, all of the exits seem to be boarded up, doors are locked and there’s secrets hidden throughout this building. Abandoned hospitals are a great horror film setting to start with and this one definitely delivers there. The better the two patients get and the stronger they are, the more they uncover.
I won’t spoil the twist for the film, but it is something that we’ve seen before. I like the twist on it as I didn’t see it coming though. The aspect of the flashbacks though I could have done without. I get why it is in there, but it doesn’t add too much to the film. I’m not entirely sure that the reason they are having them is plausible. What the female patient is experiencing makes more sense, but why the male one is I didn’t really buy into.
The pacing for the film is great though. It steadily builds tension as the mystery of what is going on here is unraveled. I like that even the characters have moral dilemmas they have to work through if they are going to survive this. The final reveal of this film was great and it had my jaw drop. This is definitely one that I want to see again to see if I can pick up things I may have missed with the initial viewing.
Acting in this film was really solid as well. Cocquerel is interesting in that for a good portion of the film, he can’t speak. I found this believable that the trauma and surgery he went through would have this effect. He does a lot without speaking in terms of his acting with body moments and facial expressions. Stopps was also really good in that she has a maternal instinct that causes her to do things to survive. I don’t fault her for it and I might do some of things she does to survive as well. Macfadyen was great as the doctor. He comes off as borderline crazy and I loved his character more after the reveal. His reasons for things he says made so much more sense. The rest of the cast round out for what they needed as well.
This film went practical for their effects and I loved it. They definitely looked real and there were quite a few things that had me cringing. The blood in the film also looked good and there ends up being quite a bit of it. Some of the attacks were pretty brutal which I thought added something to the film as well.
Now with that said, I like the original idea used for this concept that we have seen before. If you are going to go along those lines, that is really what you have to do. The setting and the horror being held in captivity I thought really helps build the tension. It is paced extremely well which also helps here. The twist for this film I didn’t see coming and I’m always a big fan of that. There was an aspect of the concept that I wasn’t really a fan of, but it doesn’t hurt the film. Acting was great and I thought the effects for the film were solid. The score didn’t really stand out, but it doesn’t hurt the film either. This was well done and if you like a bit of mystery with your horror film, I’d give this one a viewing. I found it to be quite good.
My Rating: 8 out of 10