Home > Patrick (2014) - 5 > Patrick (2014) – 5

Patrick (2014) – 5

Director – Mark Hartley

Cast – Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vinson, Peta Sergeant, Damon Gameau, Martin Crewes, Eliza Taylor, Simone Buchanan

Release Year – 2014

Reviewed by John of the Dead

With Hollywood consistently remaking horror classics, namely slasher films, I was surprised to see a remake of Richard Franklin’s 1978 Aussie classic, Patrick. Not as well known to the public as Halloween and Friday the 13th, I had to double check when I saw this coming with a familiar storyline.

When a young nurse begins work at an isolated psychiatric ward, she quickly becomes fascinated with Patrick, a brain dead patient who is the subject of a mad scientist’s cruel and unusual experiments. What starts as an innocent fascination quickly takes a sinister turn as Patrick begins to use his psychic powers to manipulate her every move, and send her life into a terrifying spiral out of control.

This story comes from first-timer Justin King, and while it has some similarities to the original this is a very bland effort. Most of the horror early on consists of cheap jump scares, with some supernatural elements kicking in at about 28 minutes. 5 minutes later the mental horror takes place, with hallucinogenic scenes serving as the source of conflict. Eventually Patrick begins to reveal his powers to Kathy, luring her in until he has a firm hold on her life and those around her. He uses his telekinetic powers to eliminate all who stand in his way and also to remind Kathy that he will always be watching her. After a while I found this telekinetic horror getting old, boring, and cheap. There are even some laughable scenes where he somehow finds a way to text Kathy without having a phone himself. The characters were OK, with nobody stealing the show and most of them adhering to the usual clichés. I wanted more from the evil Dr. Roget and more insight into Kathy’s background, but this script is about as basic as it gets.

Director Mark Hartley did a great job to start, giving us spooky atmosphere and an excellent location for supernatural terror. This atmosphere was complimented by a classical horror score that I am sure was meant as a homage to the original. The acting performances are fairly good, with the only issue being the mediocre writing of each character. Eventually I saw Hartley’s direction begin to decline as the story began to grow and migrate. Horrible CGI is used for car crashes and oceanside scenery, and at times the execution of the horror, like the texting scene, is just stupid. The execution of Patrick also got old, and that is not a surprise to me. He spends all of the present day scenes in bed (there are flashback scenes), so at times this one-dimensional antagonist became a bore to watch. It takes good writing and direction to make this interesting, and that was not the case here.

Overall, Patrck is a mediocre effort that does not do justice to its great but under-appreciated predecessor. The atmosphere and performances are good, but everything else becomes silly over time.

Rating: 5/10

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