The Sick House

The Sick House


Reviewed by: Leanne McGrath

The spirit of a plague doctor who killed children is resurrected to continue his murderous rampage.

The premise of this British horror flick sounds promising and the first half hour hints at a chilling tale, but sadly it goes downhill and leaves you feeling sick for all the wrong reasons. The story focuses on Anna (Jeepers Creepers star Gina Philips), an ambitious archaeologist researching the Great Plague of London, who is excavating a derelict children's hospital. She stumbles upon evidence that one of the plague doctors was killing, rather than caring for, the kids, but her research is halted when deadly spores are discovered in the medieval building's foundations and the authorities give the go ahead for immediate demolition next morning. Seeing her last chance to investigate the site slipping away, Anna breaks in during the night, as do four lairy joyriders, hiding out from the cops. Anna's digging awakens the spirit of the killer plague doc, who begins haunting and hunting the five intruders.

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Like all slasher movies, you know the cast will be picked off one by one in increasingly disturbing ways. The Sick House had the potential to be inventive with its slaughter, but it dies on its ass. For a start, early on, Anna discovers a book with drawings of the mad doc’s victims and you soon realise our unfortunates will meet similar fates, which brings us to an annoying, unforgivable plot hole. A character reckons they will burn to death and says they must avoid using even a fag lighter. Minutes later, they set a makeshift torch ablaze. Such stupidity warrants a painful demise.

Aside from predictability, the other main problem is that you can barely see what’s going on. Lighting is minimal and what there is seems shrouded in a heavy blue tint. Added to this are the irritating, never-ending, scratchy jump cuts and flickering lights. You soon get bored trying to figure out the storyline. Luckily by then you don't care and are paying more attention to your watch. The only highpoint is the cast, who, aside from excruciating Sarf Landan accents, put plenty of energy into their performances.

Reviewed on: 10 Aug 2008
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The spirit of a murderous doctor continues to kill kill kill from beyond the grave.

Director: Curtis Radclyffe

Writer: Romla Walker, Matthew James Wilkinson

Starring: Gina Philips, Alex Hassell, Kellie Shirley, Andrew Knott, Jack Bailey, John Lebar, Romla Walker, Tom Wontner, Gregg Harris, Stuart Brennan, Finlay Carr

Year: 2007

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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