Now available on Netflix is the new Netflix original horror film titled Clinical, about a psychiatrist who takes on a disfigured patient while dealing with her own past traumatic event. This psychological thriller that sometimes pretends it’s a ghost story boasts strong performances from the two lead actors and throws heaps of blood at the viewers, but suffers from being far too predictable and containing many unrealistic scenarios. Netflix attempt at bringing in more original content unfortunately falls in between being average and tedious.
The story focuses on themes of psychiatric treatment and dealing with post traumatic stress, while also questioning the effectiveness of the clinical system and the use of medicine for treatment. It is essentially a psychological thriller that throws various other subgenres at you as red herrings in an attempt to throw you off the scent of what the final twist will be. The problem is that it doesn’t work and for most viewers, you should be able to figure out what’s going on fairly quick. All of the characters except for the psychiatrist Dr. Jane Mathis (Vinessa Shaw) and her new patient Alex (Kevin Rahm) are purely one dimensional, serving as pawns in the story and a bridge between the relationship between Mathis and Alex. The predictably is nowhere near as bad as the series of unrealistic situations that occur throughout the movie. They are head scratchers that have you talking to the television screen, saying no one in their right mind would do that.
The acting is excellent from Shaw and Rahm, both providing inspiring performances. Shaw does a superb job going through the process of an increasing decline into a trouble psychosis, dealing with a past trauma that continues to haunt her. Rahm is completely transformed and unrecognizable as the disfigured patient, giving us a character that is both troubled and dark. Their character relationship and onscreen performances together are the strength of this production. The rest of the cast is good in their minimal roles.
The directing from Alistair Legrand is decent. The indoor scenes are mostly darkened and lowly lit, focusing on a grayish color palette to make things mysterious and potentially scary. There are a lot of unusual camera angles and tricks employed in order to create that sense of psychosis occurring. The score is pretty much the typical horror score using strings and other instruments in an attempt to frighten the audience.
For fans of horror looking for some blood, they do manage to deliver on that end. Despite only being in a few scenes, when it’s present they really let it fly. The special effects and make up all terrific and moments of gore look very realistic.
Bottom line, Netflix has a mix of good and bad original programming and this one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Pass on the psychosis.
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