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October horror movie marathon: Fear Clinic

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Before you delve into this review, be sure to take a look at the rest of the Halloween marathon

Day 3: Fear Clinic

When I first heard about this movie, I was ecstatic. Growing up as both a huge fan of horror and Corey Taylor’s bands, Slipknot and Stone Sour, it was as if two of my favourite things were colliding to make something great. Not only would it be Corey Taylor’s first role in a feature-length movie, but he’d be joined by horror legend, Robert Englund. No matter how the film turned out, the prospect of the two being on screen together was crazy.

Fear Clinic is written and directed by Aaron Drane and Robert Hall whom based the film on their original web series of the same name with Robert Englund reprising his role as Doctor Andover. Joining him in the cast are Corey Taylor, Angelina Armani and Danielle Harris, to name a few.

The story follows five patients, all connected by a mass shooting, who have been cured of a variety of phobias, through the use of Dr. Andover’s fear chamber. But they find themselves returning back to the doctor after their fears return worse than ever. 

It’s revealed very early in the film that another patient affected by the shooting had died inside the fear chamber. Ever since, Dr. Andover has been ashamed of his work and fell into a deep depression. It’s when he’s at his lowest that his patients come back. 

The film moves along surprisingly slowly at first. Taking its time to introduce the characters, their phobias, the connection between them etc. There’s the occasional scare here and there but the filmmakers definitely make the audience work for it.

While respectable that the filmmakers would take time to engross the audience into the film, characters and story, ultimately it plays against the film. The audience zone out long before anything really interesting happens. Of course this is due to a mix of bad writing and directing, the slow pace sure doesn’t help.

And the directing throughout is nauseating. Choppy editing, near-constant shaky cam and some sequences that look like they were shot on a Nokia 3210. 

But it’s the writing where things get really bad.

Fear Clinic has an intriguing premise, but the writing team simply do nothing with it. There are an incredible amount of directions that the story could go in, yet the writers chose the least interesting one. Understandably they only had so much money and could only shoot so much, but even with that excuse it leaves a lot to be desired. There are good ideas in there but they almost always tend to be ruined.

Fear Clinic is an extremely disappointing film, which is disappointing as it’s got a lot going for it (the involvement of Robert Englund and Corey Taylor, being based on a successful web series, a good premise etc.). But, Drane and Hall really dropped the ball on this one.

Rating = 2/5 flicks

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