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Clinical (2017)

Clinical Netflix Original Horror Movie Review

A psychiatrist tries to put her life back together after a violent attack by seeking to repair the life of a new patient, but he has his own terrifying history.


Clinical Netflix Original Horror Movie ReviewDirected by  Alistair Legrand (The Diabolical) and written by Alistair Legrand and  Luke Harvis (also The Diabolical), Clinical is one of those ponderous Netflix originals. Yes, it is a pretty good film, the direction is good, the writing, if a little predicable, is solid fare. The casting (while I'll get to the quality shortly) is odd - with more than half the cast almost trying to be other people. Protagonist, Mathis, is played by Vinessa Shaw (Ray Donovan) who is distractingly similar in not only look but acting style to Katee Sackoff, and her appearances in many horror flicks. Early victim - and recurring flashback - Nora, is played by India Eisley (Look Away) pictured above, channeling far more ChloĆ« Grace Moretz than I'm sure she intended. It's more than a little off putting, and some directorial touches could have solved the problem with ease, I'm sure.

Anyway, with that gripe out of the way. The film focuses on Dr. Jane Mathis, a psychiatrist working with people who has faced trauma, when she herself faces one. It lends to a slow burn horror film, working well for the first two acts. Mathis is haunted by her past, and may or may not be haunted by a ghost. Enough of the details are kept off screen to keep the audience guessing. She is treating Alex, who has had a car accident, and has undergone a great deal of reconstructive surgery - and he's getting all clingy. It's both emotional, and a success in film making.

Once the third act hits, subtlety and nuance are dispatched for the big twist - because horror film gotta horror film - and it gets unnecessarily slashery.

The performances are a mixed bag. Accident victim Alex, played by Kevin Rahm (Nightcrawler) is dark, and believable, Eisley's Nora is intense and frightening. Shaw struggles to carry the film, and her performance is just okay.

The FX should be noted, however, with the gore effects being very impressive.

It will sate the horror fan wanting a mindless bit of fun, but it was clearly aiming higher. It wasted it's opportunity to be high brow with the final act turning it far too generic. So, fun to watch - could have been more.

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