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Inoperable (Movie Review)

Inoperable (Movie Review)
11.27.2017by: Mike Sprague
5 10

PLOT: A young woman wakes up in a seemingly abandoned hospital in the middle of a hurricane and is tormented by malevolent forces inside. She realizes she is trapped in a time loop and must escape the hospital before the storm passes, or she will be trapped there forever.

REVIEW: It was only a few days ago now that I first caught the trailer for director Christopher Lawrence Chapman's new horror flick INOPERABLE here on AITH. I was immediately taken by not only the fact that the film starred one of my favorite scream queens Danielle Harris, but I also dug the film's hospital location, the approaching hurricane subplot, and the fact that the effects work was done by Robert Kurtzman (aka the K in KNB) and his company Creature Corps. What I found out in researching the film a bit more was that it was produced right here in my home state of Florida. Tampa Bay area to be exact. Oh, no. Is that going to make me biased to the final product? I guess we'll see…

To start things off let's do a bit of a rundown on the film's plot. Our heroine played by Danielle Harris is trying to get out of town before a category 5 hurricane wipes out the Tampa Bay area. Timely considering this almost happened a mere few months back. (That said, the film was shot back in early 2016 so I guess the filmmakers can just tell the future? Nah, hurricanes and Florida just go together like slashers and summer camps.) Harris' character is trying to get away from the approaching hurricane when - boom - she wakes up in the hospital all alone. And I do mean all alone. At least at first...

Harris wakes up and the place has been ransacked. Everyone is gone and only a lone ghostly figure roams the halls with her. After a few minutes of this Harris snaps back to her car, still trying to get out of town before the hurricane hits. WTF? As she tries to get her bearings - boom - there she goes again. Back in the hospital. Only this time the place looks like new. This time the place is filled with doctors and nurses. And they are all out to get her. From there the movie jumps onto a time-loop structure which sees Harris' character sent back to her hospital bed time and time again. Along the way, she is joined by a few fellow patients who are being hunted as well. From there things go from bad to worse quicker than you can say graphic brain surgery.

The doctors in this time-loop hospital seem to be torturing the helpless patients, with highlights being a surgeon taking a cheese grater to a burn victim's leg and a team of nurses performing an emergency birthing on a patient... who isn't pregnant. Yeah, it's weird. And bloody. And speaking of bloody, the film’s highlight (other than Danielle Harris) is the absolutely stunning and disgusting makeup effects via Robert Kurtzman's Creature Corps. The company has been around the gory block more than a few times and it shows in spades. We get exposed brains, ripped-out guts, and blood and gore by the buckets. This film is red as hell and happy to linger on the effects, which hold up to the bright hospital lights in long takes, no problem. Good f*cking job, David Henson Greathouse, Barry Aslinger, and Beki Ingram!

That said, the film sports more than its fair share of negative aspects, unfortunately. The performances are all pretty amateurish and while I’m not going to point fingers here or name names, I will say that, other than the always reliable Danielle Harris, the majority of the rest of the cast is awkward to watch. The film's other major issue is it keeps jumping back to the beginning and resetting things with too many time jumps and not enough time spent within each of the timelines to ever care about the differences presented in the next one. Also, as you can imagine the entire film is leading up to a big reveal. A reveal that once it hits will only serve to make you go, "Oh, right. I get it" and not much more. The final shot is killer though.

After all of my thoughts spit and spat, I enjoyed my time spent with INOPERABLE. The directing and camerawork are kinetic as hell and make great use of the location and it's labyrinth hallways. And on top of that, the film is a fun mystery to try and unlock. Some might figure out what's going on long before Danielle Harris' character does, but as they say, it's not always about the destination, it's about the trip. And you've got to hand it to INOPERABLE, it's one hell of a bloody/gory trip.

In the end, if you are a Danielle Harris fan and would like to see a master FX company such as Robert Kurtzman's Creature Corps working in tip-top form, I would suggest snatching up a copy of INOPERABLE as soon as it hits VOD. The movie can be more than a tad monotonous in parts, sure, but it is also a solid mindf*ck as well. So if you're like me and you tend to dig on flicks that give your brain a workout and don't just spell every little detail out for the audience, you could do worse than INOPERABLE. A lot worse.

Extra Tidbit: INOPERABLE hits select theaters December 1st.
Source: AITH

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