Review: The Sickhouse

A bunch of unlikable, “young but still old enough to know better,” characters (with their associated drama) find themselves in an abandoned plague hospital for children, where the ghost of a murderous “plague doctor” proceeds to pick them off one by one. That’s essentially what the back of the box says, so even before you put the disk into the player you already know that you’ve seen this movie about 4000 times, with various titles. “House on Haunted Hill” anyone? Hello? Anyone?

So this one doesn’t have the most original premise in the world. Maybe this is one of those films that takes a tired story and actually does it better-

-uhh, no, it doesn’t. The body count on this one is low, and with one exception the kills are forgettable. The main ghost? A guy in a costume shot through a blurry camera. And why does he have a sparkler in his mouth at the end? So they’re not trying to hook you with originality or special effects… okay, what about gore?

There is some gore, most of it focused around the pregnant woman who gets raped and goes batshit toward the end of the movie. Some stuff happens with her that’s actually disturbing for about a second. …and that’s it. Everything else is just blood splatters on the floor/walls.

Action? A couple of fist fights. And a non-bloody car accident or two.

Acting? Well, they’re not HORRIBLE actors, so I guess that’s something.

Interesting characters? A bunch of drug-addicted car thieves and a grad student so single-minded that she willingly crawls around in an abandoned house that she know for a FACT… not a guess… not a maybe… but a FACT is infected with plague just to get a few trinkets. I’m already incapable of giving a damn whether any of these folks live or die. In fact, I’d rather they died. Horribly. Soon. Are they otherwise interesting? No, not really.

Okay then, maybe this is one of those FUNNY horror movie-

No. Give it up. There’s nothing redeemable about this one. One scene worth watching can’t carry an entire movie.

What I liked:
+8: Pregnant+Ghost Raped+Crazy+Knife=???? (The whole movie should have been like that one scene)
+2: Ending was kinda interesting.

What sucked:
-15: Not just unoriginal, but STUNNINGLY unoriginal.
-8: FX? If you’re not going to spend money on an original script, then at LEAST you can buy some good FX. No? Okay, then you get minus 8.
-5: Incredibly stupid characters are one thing, but when it’s the f’ing MAIN character…?

+/- 2: There IS some T&A… but its grimy, bloody pregnant T&A. Not my kinda thing, but hey… different strokes, right?

The plot/premise WOULD be cool if I hadn’t seen it a bazillion times before. Ghost-doctors killing people stupid enough to hang out in places where ghost doctors go around killing people has been done before. Many many times. These creators could have pulled off a winner if they had either added some eye-candy FX or targeted the disturbing gore aspect that they just barely touched on in one scene. But they failed to do either, so… screw ’em. Go rent “House on Haunted Hill” and, even if you HATE that movie, it’s still more entertaining than this one.


  1. nate, April 4, 2011:

    I’m about 75% through this movie, and having a hard time not reading a book while it’s playing. Every time the pregnant woman is on screen I pay attention, waiting for whatever scene you referred to as +8.

    So far I’d have to give this movie about a 2 out of 10.

    I also watched the movie Amusement over the weekend. I’d give that one a 3, but there was one sequence in it that scores significantly higher.

  2. DarkIcon, April 5, 2011:

    I remember this movie. Now I’m angry that it is still taking up space in my brain. If you were reading a book then you may have missed the one good scene in the movie. It didn’t last long at all.

    I haven’t seen Amusement. Is it any good?

  3. nate, April 6, 2011:

    I finished the movie and even managed to see that one good scene you mentioned. I agree, other than that the movie was a waste of time. At least I was able to lay down and rest during it.

    Amusement probably isn’t worth your time. It has a couple of storylines in it, each from a different characters POV. Only the one with the clowns was worthwhile, and it smacks of an urban legend. Still, that one sequence was creepy, though not really scary.

    Last night I watched One Missed Call. It was better, but still not great.

    Right now I’m about 75% through with Jennifers Body. ugh!

  4. nate, April 6, 2011:

    BTW, if you’ve not yet seen the movie titled The Human Centipede, First Sequence, find it and watch it. I highly recommend that one.

    I Spit On Your Grave: The original from 1978 is better, with lots more T&A, but the remake is relatively worth seeing. Not as much T&A, but some better kill scenes.

    The only other movie(s) I’ll recommend at the moment are The Descent, and maybe Descent 2.

    Any ETA on when In Deed may resume? Just asking, obviously I’m still checking the site.

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