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Sickhouse, The

2.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Sickhouse, The(DVD/FS/WS)

While excavating the site of a 17th century plague hospital, archaeologist Anna (Gina Philips) accidentally unleashes the malevolent spirit of a plague doctor responsible for a series of gruesome murders 350 years earlier…and he's ready to practice again! Trapped inside the hospital with four trespassing teens and hunted by the murderous spirit, Anna must find a way for the living to escape the building before history repeats itself and they become permanent patients.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gina Philips, Stuart Brennan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011NVC20
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,597 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sickhouse, The" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I watched this last night, and I will have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. Although horror is my favorite genre, much of the "new breed" of horror films are just plain...HORRIBLE. This is not the case here.

Set in London, the story follows a young archaeologist (Gina Phillips) who has discovered the "dig of a lifetime," only to be told the site has been quarantined because of a possible outbreak of the plague, and the site will be destroyed "in the morning." As most horror stories would have it, she throws caution to the wind and decides to go back for one more look. She causes way more than she bargained for. She finds herself trapped inside, along with four intruders, and they must find their way out before it's too late.

Very stylishly done, by first-time director Curtis Radclyffe, I found his use of lighting and sound very effective. There really is no "monster" here...so to speak. However, I was bothered by the "whispering child." I never could figure out what she was saying, and I think that message played a major part in the film. The gore, by the way, is handled very nicely; most of it is in black and white.

To make a really good horror movie, you don't need a maniac in a mask, or someone chasing nubile young women--scantilly clad, of course--with a chainsaw. Lighting, sound, and setting the right mood will do it all for you.

Gina Phillips was adequate as Anna (the archaeologist), and the supporting cast also turned out strong performances. Kuddos to first-time director Curtis Radclyffe. I'm anxious to see what he will do next. The film, amazingly enough, lasts 129 minutes. I watched the unrated version, but I don't know what it couldn't be released as an R.

Rent this one for a stormy, dark night. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Sickhouse (Curtis Radclyffe, 2007)

Radclyffe (Sweet Angel Mine) went eleven years between his first and second movies. I haven't seen the first one. After seeing the second, I'm not sure I care to. The Sickhouse is badly-shot (and in the world of low-budget horror movies, which are as a rule badly-shot, to single one out for this is really saying something), incomprehensible for fully half its length, not in any way scary, and in general close to unwatchable. So why, then, am I giving it such a high rating? Because once it starts to make sense, it almost manages to redeem itself.

Anna (Ring Around the Rosie's Gina Philips) is an American archaeologist working in Britain, excavating a plague hospital from the 1660s. She's stumbled upon what appears to be a base of multiple child murder, but tests of the soil in the are show that plague is still dormant there, and so the authorities, more worried about the plague coming back than they are about a possible three-hundred-odd-year-old murder case, are shutting the dig site down. Desperate to find out more, Anna sneaks in despite the posted guards. This is always a great idea in a horror film. Meanwhile, a band of young-and-beautifuls out celebrating one's twenty-first birthday get themselves involved in a fatal accident, flee the scene, and also end up in the dig site. They meet up with Anna and discover that, perhaps, they may be trapped with a three-hundred-year-old serial killer.

Yes, I'm serious. Also, I should mention that I cribbed much of that synopsis from various other reviews, because I couldn't make heads or tails of the first half of this movie. It wasn't edited, it was butchered.
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The plot was not concise and it was hard to follow. There were too many shadowy scenes, you could not tell exactly where in the hospital they were, and it skipped back and forth to different scenes so it was difficult to keep track of what was happening to who. The language and the movie is not one for children to watch. The plot did not really come together to sorta understand it till almost the end. I would not advise purchasing this dvd.
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By Garret on September 16, 2008
Format: DVD
I watch a lot of horror movies, ghost stories especially. I'm very rarely frightened by any of them, and visually disturbed only a little more often, but this movie managed to do a little of the former and a lot of the latter. Having just watched it, I'm left with a feeling of filth and taint, like when I first saw the video for Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy", oh so many years ago. I'm even somewhat nauseous. That's how visually disturbing this movie was at times, I was almost compelled to start thinking about maybe vomiting.

The visuals are exactly what I've been looking for in a horror movie, and they are really where the feeling of filth comes from. The colors are drab, the lighting is unnaturally bleak and the camera work is reminiscent of a nightmare. The shaky-cam technique doesn't always work out to the film's advantage, but for the most part, it's used quite well. The ghosts are pretty good, but I think their presence could have used some more obviating instead of them just showing up every once in a while. The atmosphere is icky, but it's not creepy. The entire movie is pretty well devoid of horrifying moments. You'll probably be grossed out, not scared.

The acting is pretty good. You may think that acting in a horror movie doesn't require any talent, but try looking scared while you run from what you know is just a guy in a suit, a puppet or empty space to be edited with CG later. Then try doing it all day and you'll have an idea of what it takes to film an entire flick. The characters were all believable, and even though they weren't as well fleshed out or deep as some may like, they weren't simple plot bots.
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