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Young Clark Stevens (Joshua Leonard) arrives at Cunningham Hall, a Mental Health Facility, for his internship. He is full of clever ideas to make the facility cleaner and more functional. Dr. Franks (the talented Lance Henrikson) doesn't receive Clark's ideas pleasantly. He informs Clark that things are fine just the way they are, and that Clark will be expected to do his job and nothing more.
Clark meets Dr. Morton (who reminded me of Henry Gibson but is played by Leslie Jordan), an absentminded, likeable guy who's been at Cunningham Hall for 25 years. There's Head Nurse Hendricks (Dendrie Taylor), who is a little like Nurse Ratchett in 'Cuckoos Nest'.
Showing Clark around the facility is pretty co-worker Sara (Jordan Ladd) who has an easygoing temperament and shrugs off Hendricks gruffness. When Sara's tour takes Clark to the basement, you, the viewer, are in for a treat. This is a spooky place. It's lockup time down here, where the "patients everyone wants to forget about" goes.
Right about the time Clark begins to witness some pretty unsavory events happening around Cunningham Hall, people begin to die. For the aficionado, there is a lovely, grisly tongue-severing scene not to be missed. The patient in Cell 44, down in the basement, begins to talk to Clark. He has some unsettling things to say, and seems to know an awful lot about the gruesome events upstairs. About the time Clark decides he's had enough, it's too late.
Lion's Gate Films has been putting out some very good films lately.Read more ›
Joshua Leonard plays Clark Stephens, a super-smart student doing his internship at a mental institution. He is sort of a know-it-all who is less than impressed by the condition of Cunningham Hall and the way its patients are treated. The man in charge, Dr. Franks (Henriksen) doesn't really care about making improvements, though; as a matter of fact, he doesn't even seem to care about curing anybody. The other two doctors are friendly enough, but the head nurse is something of a battleaxe.Read more ›
An hour into William Butler's Madhouse, a thriller that should have been much, much better than it is, I was ready to sing its praises to the moon and back--it's just the right combination of weird characters, weird situations, and outrageous mystery to press all my buttons. Then, after a bit more meandering, we get to the Big Reveal and, well, the movie has set so many traps for itself that it would've taken an immortal director to sidestep them all. Which is not to say it's not worth watching, but it sets the viewer up for some unreasonable expectations.
Plot: Clark Stevens (The Blair Witch Project's Joshua Leonard) is a new intern at an asylum being held together by spit, duct tape, and the indomitable will of Dr. Franks (Lance Henriksen), who runs the place with both an iron fist and an iron Girl Friday, Nurse Hendricks (The Fighter's Dendrie Taylor). As soon as Clark bunks down for his first night, weird things begin to happen, and pretty soon, he's seeing the ghost of a small boy roaming the halls, striking up a friendship with Ben London, the scariest guy in the psycho wing, and embarking on a friendship-which-could-end-up-being-a-tentative-romance with a fellow intern, Sara (Grace's Jordan Ladd). The last of those may be the weirdest of all. But when Nurse Hendricks is discovered the next morning murdered in the basement, Clark seizes the opportunity to investigate as a way of trying to uncover what he suspects to be corruption in the Franks regime.
It's all quite wonderful until we get to the Big Reveal, which kind of falls flat before immediately going as far over the top as it can. But I still had more fun with this movie than I expected to, which in the end is what it's all about, as far as I'm concerned. Good acting, good pace, and a well-earned atmosphere for most of the film gets a recommend from this camp. ***
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cornball, trite, stale plot with nothing but blood, gore to keep it together. Lance what have you become? You were great in your earlier career.Published on June 12, 2013 by Xrahdio
The story line is great, i won't ruin for you. Great thriller, Get ready for an ending that will knock your socks off!Published on June 7, 2013 by Donna
Great movie! I'm a fan of Lance Henricksen & that's why I chose this movie & he didn't disappoint. Even if his part wasn't that big. The big star was Joshua Leonard. Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Sheila K. Roach
I found it creepy, disturbing and scary throughout the movie especially the first time we see the "basement lock up patients" scenes. Read morePublished on May 1, 2013 by Devil Kittie
It was entertaining. I am a scary movie fanatic and always look for something scary to watch. The setting takes place in a mental institute and there is a bit of a twist. Read morePublished on April 27, 2013 by Adrian P.
Nothing spectacular but better than a kick in the face. I would not reccomend it to anyone. unless they just wanted to kill time.Published on April 17, 2013 by me
Disturbing images...check! Run down asylum...check! Gratuitous horror movie semi sex scene...check! Things that make you jump...check! Read morePublished on February 1, 2013 by Jennifer
Remembered thinking this movie was great when i was a kid, rewatched it and realized it wasn't all that great. For a B-grade movie its alright.Published on December 30, 2012 by nicole troedel
I'm not comparing the two movies, but I give this film credit as it was released long before Shudder Island. Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by Mathman