Directed and co-written by Alistair Legrand (the other writer on the film was Luke Harvis) Clinical is an effective combination of the thriller and horror genres. This is Legrand’s second film and it offers up enough twists and turns to keep the viewer guessing right up until the final reveal.
It could be called a “twist and shout” movie as there are enough false leads and surprising turns to keep the most astute viewer on their toes. There are hints that things are not necessarily what they appear to be but not until later and not until we have been sucked into the good doctor’s world.
Vinessa Shaw is Dr. Jane Mathis; a psychiatrist who is attacked by a former patient who then slits her own throat. The doctor has scars from the attack, both mental and physical, but she continues to help other patients as she recovers.
The patient who slashed her with a broken bit of glass is Nora (played with creepy, and damned scary, conviction by India Eisley) who ends up in a mental hospital for the criminally insane. Jane, who has started treating new patient; Alex (Lethal Weapon‘s Kevin Rahm) a man horribly disfigured by an auto accident, starts seeing Nora everywhere.
As the film progresses things take a severe shift into another direction. We now question Jane’s version of events and indeed wonder if anything seen to this point is actually real.
Some of the effects are quite horrific; one scene with Rahm’s character’s face is very nearly nightmarish, and while the plot may not be clear enough for some to follow, Legrand manages to keep things moving well enough to entertain.
Rahm is brilliant as the mystery patient and Eisley is disturbing as the mentally tortured kid who “haunts’ Jane. Shaw makes the transitions required to tell the story convincingly and helps to move the tale along with its many twists and turns.
William Atherton has a small role as Terry; Jane’s therapist. The actor is best known for his role in the first two Die Hard films as that reporter. Character actor Nestor Serrano is spot on as the antagonistic and despicable psychiatrist who “treats” both Nora and Jane.
Aaron Stanford, who worked with Vinessa on The Hills Have Eyes remake has little screen time as Miles, Jane’s cop boyfriend. It is nice, however, to see the two in another project together.
Clinical is now available on Netflix either to stream or to download and watch later offline. This is a cracking film. It earns a solid 4 stars for having enough mystery to keep one guessing until the final reveal.
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