It’s been a while since we had a good old-fashioned dosage of hospital horror in the realm of Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II and Jean-Claude Lord’s Visiting Hours – and who better to guide us through this than the undisputed current ‘Queen of Scream’ – Danielle Harris.
Harris has stamped her mark on the horror genre in recent years with the likes of appearances in the Halloween and Hatchet franchises – and she scores highly in co-writer and director Christopher Lawrence Chapman’s new psychological horror film Inoperable (available on DVD and VOD in the US from February 2018).
Harris plays Amy Barrett, who wakes up in a hospital which has seemingly been evacuated in the midst of an approaching hurricane that has also caused a vicious side-effect that is impacting on the hospital itself. Amy appears to have been involved in a traffic pile-up and has been brought in for treatment and observation.
Before long, though, things begin to conspire and transpire within herself and in the situation when people she sees either acknowledge or ignore her and appear to be trapped in the same vicious circle of existence, prompting a desperate desire to escape and solve an increasingly frustrating mystery before the hurricane tries to claim more victims in the area…
Inoperable plays off a familiar idea of time zone mix-up and repeat existence which has been explored in the likes of Edge of Tomorrow and Groundhog Day amongst other films and perhaps this will throw people who might be expecting something with a bit more ingenuity. Part of the appeal of a film like this is you have to embrace your expectations to get the gist and concept that Chapman and co-writer Jeff Miller have revealed here.
The fun of the film is picking up on those expectations and allowing the events of the film to unfold and just when you think the film is going to go the way you think, the writers throw a curve-ball into the mix that takes it into a new direction.
Please do stick with Inoperable right up until the very end, Harris is excellent in the role of Amy and is backed up by a strong supporting cast who acquit themselves amidst the ensuing craziness. The gore and shocks are fused into the mix without being too overly bloody or gratuitous and layer the ideas and story within.
Inoperable fits the classic contemporary horror mould - a single location setting, coupled with an increasingly claustrophobic situation affecting a small group of individuals. Much of the appeal of the film is down to horror fan favourite Harris, who continues to impress in a genre that has defined her career - after her early childhood acting work in films with Bruce Willis (The Last Boy Scout) and Steven Seagal (Marked For Death).
INOPERABLE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE CHAPMAN / SCREENPLAY: CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE CHAPMAN, JEFF MILLER / STARRING: DANIELLE HARRIS, KATIE KEENE, CHRIS HAHN, JEFF DENTON / RELEASE DATE: VOD OUT NOW