Worst thing you’ll see all week: Patrick

, | Movie reviews

This remake of an obscure Australian horror movie from the 70s is basically Carrie, but where the lead character is comatose instead of a high school girl. Interesting choice. The best thing going for it is its cast, which includes Sharni Vinson from You’re Next, Rachel Griffiths from Six Feet Under, and Charles Dance from everything Charles Dance has been in.

Unfortunately, the movie is a bit too taken with Sharni Vinson. As am I, to be sure. But you’re not going to pay $6.99 for a video-on-demand glimpse into my head. So Patrick’s greatest failing is not appreciating what it has with Griffiths and Dance, who lurk around in the background for far too long in favor of a couple of “belles among the brain dead”, including the lovely lively Peta Sergeant as Vinson’s sidekick nurse, toiling away in a creepy experimental institute for the braindead. But I’ll trade all the scenes of Vinson Googling “moving things with mind”, stumbling around in the dark, and having two too many relationships for one more shot of Dance sticking his head into a door and saying “Remember to tell me when he has a bowel movement, yes?” Is there anyone else channeling Peter Cushing half this well?

The old mansion, the traditional nursing uniforms, and the sometimes ponderous pace set Patrick apart from most modern horror movies. Although it leans too heavily on bad CG backdrops and effects, it offers an intriguing combination of Victorian horror and latter day technology. There are a few fascinating early fake-outs. An old timey phone rings. The camera cuts to a shot of Vinson’s iPhone. It’s her ringtone. Pretty sneaky. But despite occasional sly touches, Patrick goes from intriguing to borderline camp to downright risible, until it quite literally defenestrates itself.