Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
An archeology student disobeys her professor and unleashes the plague in an abandoned childrenís hospital, where chaos erupts. Is there any other kind?
Is it good movie?
Hollywood loves creepy kids. Iíve seen countless movies Ė some good, some unwatchable Ė utilizing them and trying to make kids everywhere scary little things. If effective, it should make being around a niece or nephew a frightening experience. If not, theyíll simply annoy as usual. The Sickhouse does its best to use kids again to frighten, though here they more resemble Jawas from Star Wars than Damien or those creeps from Children of the Corn; not something one wants their audience to recall. The film begins in London with an American girl named Anna studying the archeology of the plague. Now, weíve come to expect that archeology equals excitement (blame a guy named Indy), and The Sickhouse goes for the same formula, though horror style, of course. However, while Indy had fascinating stories to investigate, who cares about Annaís mission? Weíre given no reason to care as the attractive Anna breaks into the Ludgate Hospital for Children after her professor tells her itís too dangerous because of the potential plague. Donít ask. Itís just an excuse to throw a hot girl into a mad house and watch the blood flow. Well, unlucky Anna accidentally sets off the good old plague by plugging something into something (donít ask, itís an old artifact she tells us). Thus, unleashing evil. At the same time, some young punks steal a car, crash it, and are forced to hide out in Ludgate. Thatís when things go nutty.
Basically, The Sickhouse melds Blair Witch and House on Haunted Hill with a little slasher thrown in. The punks will remind of punks from the classic Return of the Living Dead, though not as cool nor as interesting nor as memorable. The film tries too hard to interest and scare and doesnít attempt to try anything new. At the same time, Annaís too young for the role. Why do all horror leads now have to be young and hot? Why not allow for hot punk girls and have an older, more dynamic lead who viewers can trust? Someone who they can believe actually cares and understands archeology. Anna isnít that. She holds no interest. Also, Iím sick of the non-stop camera movement. It drives me nuts as it allows for zero tension. Sure, gore happens, but anticipation remains avoided leaving the bad guys seen in MTV flashes with techno blaring. I got more of a headache than any sort of fear.
Video / Audio
Video:Choose between full screen or 2.5:1 Widescreen.
Audio:Sounds great in 5.1 Dolby Digital.
The Sickhouse just mashes a lot of other films, casts some young people, and expects people to care and be scared. I wasnít any of these things. It has gore but the story and originality are aimed at unlearned teens, not anyone who's ever seen a horror movie before.