Patient Seven is a rather clever anthology film that focuses on Dr. Marcus (Michael Ironside), a renowned psychiatrist who is researching mentally ill and dangerous patients in a mental hospital. Throughout the interviews, the 6 patients begin to tell of the horrors they committed as Dr, Marcus learns there is one patient who ties them all together.
The set up of the film is ripe for the picking as far as horror anthologies go. We get 6 different stories from severely mentally disturbed patients being told to a doctor who just may be as crazy as they are. That’s why Michael Ironside was a great choice to play Dr. Marcus. The guy just looks crazier than any of the patients he interviews, and he plays the role perfectly.
The mental hospital has a sterile and dirty look at the same time. This is conveyed by the bluish florescent lighting that drapes over every scene, giving the film an untouched yet grimy appearance. It’s a fitting tone — given the purpose and intent of hospitals — as it also hints at the unconventional and dangerous methods used by Dr. Marcus. It’s an uncomfortable and cold look that keeps the viewer at a distance and in a state of distrust toward anything that is happening on screen. It creates the perfect language for the film as events begin to unfold and the story plays out.
The stories being told here are creative and unpredictable. The best part is all of the patient stories are all so different from each other. Some are funny, some are scary, some have action, and all are entertaining and populated with strong performances and great makeup and effects.
Grace Van Dien plays Patient 5. Although she doesn’t have a lot of screen time, she really stood out to me. Her eyes and facial expressions were haunting and sharp, and I’m curious to see what she can do in a larger role. Corpses, ghosts, zombies, demons and Vampires fill this surprisingly even anthology film that is all killer and no filler.
Another surprising aspect of Patient Seven is how well the film gels together. Each segment is helmed by a different director, but the movie never feels out of sync with itself and maintains a consistent tone throughout. Some segments being far better than others is often a fault of even the best horror anthologies I’ve seen. However, Patient Seven doesn’t suffer that fate, and for that I give it very high praise.
Horror anthologies like this seem to be getting more and more popular. When they are as enjoyable as PATIENT SEVEN, it really benefits from the binge watching mentality that has come about the past few years. Movies like this are like watching several “Tales From the Crypt” or “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” episodes in a row. If that doesn’t sound enjoyable to a horror fan, then I don’t know what does!
Check out Patient Seven for several different and solid horror stories with an overarching connection. It’s perfect for Halloween time!