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Psych 9


Stars: Sara Foster, Cary Elwes, Gabriel Mann, Michael Biehn, Colleen Camp, Susie Amy

Director: Andrew Shortell

This bleak and fairly chilly horror film opens with the latest victim of the Nighthawk Killer banging in vain on the door of a house. The camera then cuts to the inside of the house as the desperate beatings on the door gradually subside. A nice shot: but, unfortunately, the director can't resist showing a pool of blood seeping under the door. That, though, is untypical of a film that's notieably reticent with its gore, and relies mainly on the eerie atmosphere of a deserted hospital.

New employee there is Roslyn (Foster), a former nurse who has volunteered for the night shift to get the hospital's chaotic files in order. Disturbed by noises in the old building, Roslyn is somewhat reassured by meeting the psych doctor (Elwes) who works on the fifth floor.

At home, there's friction with her cab-driver husband (Mann) over when to try for a baby. Than it transpires that Roslyn herself was once a patient in the hospital's psychiatric ward...

The outcome of all this is pretty obvious; you keep hoping the film will spring a major surprise on us, but it never does. Foster, reminiscent of 1960s' horror star Barbara Steele, is an unsettling presence in the central role of a movie that will entertain horror buffs, but contains too many lulls in the narrative for its own good.

David Quinlan

USA/Czech Republic 2007. UK Distributor: Galaxy. Pathecolor.
97 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 04 May 2010