Amy (Taylor) is a schoolteacher, afraid of commitment due to her own inability to overcome issues in her past. She’s just moved in with her boyfriend Nick (Brolley) but can’t make the final step to agree to marry him. With things between them in such a shifting state, they’re involved in a car crash, and he’s taken by a mysterious crew to a bizarre hospital. It’s this point that Amy must try to overcome her life-long fear of hospitals to investigate the eerie St. Rosemary’s, reclaim her lost love, and face the issues that have been haunting her.
(Random thought number One: Holy Crap does that one Ambulance Tech, Francis, look like ESPN’s Mike Greenberg!)
Amy is joined in her efforts by Luke(O’Connell), who was driving the other truck in the accident. His sister was in the truck too, but is missing, just like Nick. Now the two of them try to find answers, while Nick has to suffer the bizarre “treatment” of St. Rosemary’s staff.
For anyone afraid of surgery or doctor’s offices, the opening of this movie will be a great attention-grabber. It takes almost no time to peer into the fear that Amy lives with on a daily basis. Taylor does the rest, taking the ball and rolling with it handily. She can act her ass off, and has to overcome a few wooden performances amongst the supporting cast. For an actress whose resume’ includes The Craft and Zoolander, she boasts one of the best screams in the business, and gets to use it early and often.
(Random thought number Two: Head Nurse Norma Holliday could scare the worm out of a Cuervo bottle.)
Amy’s repeated visions allow the filmmakers to tap into some of the more expensive aspects of the film, including overhead lift shots and wire work. Several of these early shots rely on well-crafted makeup effects from Almost Human studios and Robert Hall. One of the first scenes which doesn’t require effects will serve to grab the attention of all the men in the theater.
(Not-so-Random thought: haunted or not, when they take me to the hospital, I want the same nurses Nick gets. File under H for “hired because we’re hot, regardless of our acting prowess”. This may be the first film to feature this many nurses with fire engine red fingernails and high heels and NOT Ron Jeremy.)
The story is well-written with the exception of a few scenes seemingly thrown in to make the film a better fit for horror markets. When Taylor is required to turn the reins over to the other actors, the film loses momentum. The nurses and the white trash couple are particularly bad, but watching one of those groups can be fixed by hitting the mute button. (You decide.) The ending is serviceable, predictable to the point of detracting from the build-up.
As with several other IDT releases, the sounds and music support the film well. The original score by Joe Kraemer uses orchestration to steer the tension and support the jumps when necessary. The audio choices and use of delay add another excellent layer to the experience, sometimes with better results than the visual effects.
Cameos include the horror veteran Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees in a number of the Friday the 13th films). The brief role of the librarian and cabbie are handled well by supporting actors.
Extras include two commentary tracks; one with Director Mike Hurst and one with Producer Mark A. Altman. There is a brief featurette on making the horror hospital, “St. Rosemary’s”. The featurette shows some great insight into filming the different scenes and effects, including the talents of Misty Rosas on stunts. The disc also includes the screenplay and trailer for the film. The film is presented in 1.77:1 widescreen format, and Dolby Surround 5.1.
Previews include the intriguing Masters of Horror, the action/horror Demon Hunter (starring Sean Patrick Flaherty), It Waits (with Cerina Vincent), and the mummy flick, The Fallen Ones (with Casper Van Dien and surprisingly no shots stolen from the National Geographic Channel).