Review by Hunter Miele
There are few things that a fan of the supernatural asks for in a thriller: Suspense, drama, and- most importantly- ghoulish characters in a creepy setting that provide us the scares that we came for. And when it comes to setting- let’s be honest- we all feel at least a little spooked in a hospital. The sterile atmosphere and fluorescent lights coupled with the implication of death and disease make every one of us uncomfortable. Add some spine-chilling monsters and you have the perfect setting for a film that will rattle you to your core. “Disquiet”, directed by Micheal Winnick and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, does “nightmare hospital” gloriously, albeit not without some hiccups along the way.
Sam (Meyers), a father-to-be, is involved in a brutal car wreck and wakes up in a hospital bed riddled with tubes and bandages. He’s disoriented, and with no hospital staff in sight to assist him, he begins to remove the tubes and wires confining him to his bed. He sits up and notices an old man, appearing comatose, in the bed across the room. In a horrifying instant, the man is gone from the bed and leaps on top of Sam. The two fight savagely in the hospital hallway until Sam stabs the man in the chest with a scalpel. Sam gets dressed, and when he reenters the hallway, he finds that the man’s body has disappeared. “Disquiet” most certainly wastes no time diving head-first into the supernatural.
As Sam navigates his way down the deserted hospital’s ominous corridors, he hears screams. In a heroic effort, he follows the sounds and finds Monica, a young woman strapped to a hospital bed and surrounded by scalpel-wielding women. The women appear to be- like Monica- cosmetic surgery patients. Their vacant expressions are especially threatening as they slowly approach Sam, brandishing their scalpels. He narrowly survives the attack and rescues Monica, and the two of them team up in an effort to escape the exit-less hospital.
Later, the two meet a wheelchair-bound old man named Virgil, and we’re immediately reminded of Dante’s famous epic. Like “The Inferno”’s Virgil, he becomes Sam’s guide as he desperately seeks an avenue to freedom. It becomes evident that the hospital is a sort of purgatory for the characters who exist as regular hospital patients in another realm. Sam literally and figuratively comes face-to-face with his demons, and we discover that if he ever makes it out, he’ll likely be making some massive changes in his life.
“Disquiet” is reminiscent of horror video games of the 90’s. In typical horror-game fashion, every turn around every corner instills primal dread. The cinematography and action make this film thrilling, but the character’s awkward dialogue often comes across as comedic and distracts from the terror. With plenty of opportunity for character-defining moments, they certainly could have been portrayed more vividly.
Ultimately, ”Disquiet” is a suspenseful and satisfying thrill, as long as it isn’t taken as seriously as the writers may have intended it to be.
In select theaters, on digital and on demand February 10th.
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