Runtime: 93 minutes
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Director: Todor Chapkanov
Asylum made me remember that you shouldn't judge a book or a movie by its cover. While the cover art and the description made it look great, it was far from what I expected.
I'll be honest here and say that I never even bothered to learn the names of characters in the movie because it kept jumping around so much. There are two main stories going on at the same time. The first is a hostage negotiator working in an insane asylum. A group of patients escaped and took over the hospital. The negotiator and his team must try to take back the hospital and keep the inmates in line.
While that might be a movie I would like to see, I wasn't too crazy about the second story. This one involves two men sitting around and watching the footage shot of a new horror movie on a computer. Turns out that the horror movie is actually the first story, as in the asylum story isn't actually happening but is just a movie. As if that weren't enough, we also have to deal with some spirits or some shit taking over the movie. It's just too much.
That's the main problem with Asylum: there is just too much going on. It's like the producers wanted to make two separate movies, realized they didn't have enough content, and decided to just throw a couple of stories together. It jumps back and forth between the stories too much, which makes things a little hard to follow.
Did I mention that there's some type of MST3K thrown in for good measure as well? The two guys watching the footage aren't content with just sitting down and watching the footage. They want to critique everything they see and try to make it into a big joke. All that does is take us out of the movie. Just as things start to get interesting, we cut back to the two of them.
The saddest thing of all is that Stephen Rea has a fairly major role in the movie and gets top billing. You might remember him from movies like Underworld: Awakening, The Crying Game, and V for Vendetta. While he is a talented actor, the director completely wastes his talent here. It led to my roommate going from, “hey that guy looks kind of familiar” to “wait, I know him from Underworld” to “oh god, why is he in this movie?”.
I occasionally see ratings for films later and usually disagree, but this one absolutely deserves the low rating it has on IMDB. While reading what others thought, I noticed that a lot of people thought it was hilarious, but I found it more painful than anything. It's clear that the writers and director wanted to make a funny movie but that didn't happen.
While the horror sections of Asylum weren't too bad, the comedic elements were just way too much.