Movie Review: ‘Painkillers’

Review by Caitlin Zeigler

John Clarke (Adam Huss) is a surgeon hanging out with his son, Brian (Tate Birchmore), when he gets called back into work. On the way, John crashes his car and loses his son. When he awakens in the hospital, his wife Chloe (Madeline Zima), tells him they lost their son and John is having an uncontrollable pain related to the loss of Brian. He can’t stop shaking, which means it’s also the end of his career. Gail Konrad (Debra Wilson) is in charge of the hospital that John and Chloe work at. She told John that there is nothing they can do about his problem physically because it’s probably occurring mentally. John then discovers that drinking fresh human blood will stop his pain and shaking from occurring.

Herb Morris (Grant Bowler) appears at Brian’s funeral to let John know that he is not alone and he can help him with his problem. It’s because he also has to drink blood to control his shaking, but he’s not doing it out of the kindness of his heart. Herb wants to blackmail John to get paid. When John realizes what they have to do to obtain fresh blood is too much to bear, he tells Herb he’s done. John accepts that he’s going to be shaking uncontrollably for the rest of his life. It’s better than harming people to get their blood, but Herb has other plans for John.

This film doesn’t have the greatest explanation of why John needs blood to “survive”. It’s not a bad storyline, it’s just a bad reason for why John has to drink blood. It might hold your attention. It doesn’t drag. I just think it could have come with a better back story. These people have PTSD that makes them crave blood, but John looked like he craved it and when he quit drinking it, he was just fine. It appeared like you would be addicted to it and then he wasn’t. You do want to know how John’s going to deal with his problems. It’s not going to wow you, but it’s not bad.

In select theaters January 31st and on VOD February 4th.

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