Clinic, The

Rating:

This Clinic Probably Isn’t Approved By Your Insurance Provider

Main Cast: Tabrett Bethell

Director: James Rabbits

Headed home for Christmas with Beth’s parents, her fiance Cameron suggests they stop for the night and continue the drive first thing in the morning. The very pregnant Beth relents and they check into a seedy roadside motel. When Cameron steps out later that night to get something to eat, he returns to find Beth is missing.

Some time later, Beth wakes up in an ice-filled bathtub to find her baby is gone and her stomach has been stitched up.

Desperate to find her baby, Beth teams up with three other mothers who are all in the same situation. They have to find a way to get off the fenced-in property they’ve found themselves on, while also surviving the wrath of another mother who is trying to kill them for their tags. It seems the babies are all alive and caged, marked with a different colored tag. A corresponding tag has been stitched into the stomach of every mother and–since it’s 1979 and DNA testing hasn’t been discovered yet–the only way for the mothers to know which baby is theirs is to find out what color all the other mothers have and, by process of elimination, find their baby.

Now THAT’S a pisser.

The Clinic is a 2010 horror movie from writer/director James Rabbits and, with only one other film, a short no less, under his belt, he did a great job here.

He develops his characters well, with the help of some really good actors, and knows how to heighten the suspense, a talent he puts to great effect throughout the movie. Rabbits also knows how to hold the reveal until the right moment, keeping the audience in the dark just enough to get us invested, but not so much we can even begin to try and make any predictions. For a change, this really was a movie where I had no idea what was going to happen next. And I loved it.

Tabrett Bethell (“Legend of the Seeker”) plays Beth, the main character, and while we don’t know a whole lot about Beth in the beginning, we get the sense that, although we have no “before” comparison, the “after” when all is said and done is a very different person. Especially the final scenes, we’re seeing a remade Beth.

The premise is, of course, horrifying, and the opening credits claim the movie is based on actual events. Granted, I don’t believe for a second the situation presented here is factual, but instead assume Rabbits built the story around the idea of child abductions in general. That being said, he’s taken what could only be described as a parent’s worst nightmare come true and made it into a very engaging story.

In the entirety of the movie I only had one single miniscule problem, and that was the deus ex machina toward the end of act 3. It was needed, of course–they always are–but something about it just rang a little too good to be true, too convenient, and thus somewhat false. But if we’re saying there was one single, solitary element of an entire movie that I didn’t like–just ONE?–then that’s pretty good, I’d say. I do feel something a little more believable could have come there, but I also believe in the end the result would have been the same anyway, so whatever, I’ll forget about that one little bit and just remember how much I enjoyed the rest of the movie.

This is definitely one I could see myself watching a few more times, and enjoying just as much every time.

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