Friday, February 13, 2015
Sanatorium – Same Old, Same Old
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Director: Brant Sersen
I remember a time in the not so distant past when After Dark had a history of picking really good movies for its festival. Then After Dark decided to produce and distribute its own films, which left us with options like Sanatorium.
Sanatorium is one of those films where the characters are so dull and stereotypical that I didn't even bother learning their names. They're a group of annoying people who somehow host and produce their own ghost hunters show. There's the hot blond who is secretly pregnant and not yet ready to tell her slightly geeky boyfriend, the guy who acts like a jock/douche bag right out of high school, another hot girl, you get the drift.
The group heads to an abandoned TB sanatorium for a new investigation on New Year's Eve. Legend says that a patient when crazy from the disease, found his way to the children's ward, and killed three kids.
They arrive the day before the investigation starts to meet with the caretaker. We get several minutes of filler where he keeps telling them that they can look around but they can't go in until the next day. There's even a moment where he catches them trying to get in and says something about how if they go in early, he'll lose his job and chases them away.
Once they finally do get inside the sanatorium, it turns into one of those typically haunted hospital flicks. Instead of staying together, they go off in small groups of two or three to look for signs of paranormal things. Naturally, they start disappearing one by one and no one seems to notice. It's all pretty much the same thing you would expect for a movie like this...except for one scene.
The pretty girl is wandering through the children's ward when she sees a ball roll across the floor. It was right at that moment when I rolled my eyes about how this is something that pops up in all movies like this. Before I could open my mouth though, the douche bag character jumps out from behind a door and starts laughing at her for falling for something so lame. Not only did I get a little jump from his jump, but it made me laugh knowing that the director was in on the joke. If there were more scenes like that in the movie, I would probably give it a glowing review. Instead, the director seemed to forget about bringing something new to the table.
Sanatorium was a blind rental. The roommate saw the cover and liked it so much that he rented it. Halfway through the movie, he made an excuse and went to bed. Myself and another friend finished it. Having watched a lot of movies like this in the past, we pretty much both felt that it seemed like something we'd seen before. He started playing a game on his phone the last few minutes, and I got stuck flipping through a catalog that came in the mail. I was hoping that this might bring something new to the hold haunted hospital genre, but it was just the same old, same old.