• Fear Clinic

    Released By: Anchor Bay
    Released On: March 8, 2015.
    Director: Robert Hall
    Cast: Thomas Dekker, Robert Englund, Kevin Gage, Brandon Beemer
    Year: 2014
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Film:

    From the popular webisodes of the same name comes Fear Clinic, which answers the question: Does Robert Englund make everything better? After a terrifying ordeal involving a mass shooting in a restaurant, a number of the survivors find themselves facing fearful flashbacks to the incident itself, but also childhood fears made worse by the event. Enter Dr. Andover (Englund) chief medical staff of the Fear Clinic, an institute devoted to remedying these phobias. Discovering a unique aspect of the science dedicated to the brain overlooked by so many others, Andover invents the Fear Chamber, a device that allows him to connect with its occupants and bring their fears to life in the form of visualizations so that they can be confronted. Everything seems to be going to plan for the doctor until one of his patients dies in the Chamber, a victim of a very scary hallucination.

    Other survivors are drawn again to the clinic as their fears simultaneously heighten, but find the doctor less than willing to help. When Sarah comes across her friend Caylee in reception area, she finds that Caylee has not eaten for days, but somehow manages to vomit a nasty black goo all over the furniture. She and Sarah are finally admitted to the clinic again, along with a wheelchair-bound victim of a gunshot wound who lacks the ability to speak.

    With so many people in need of help, Andover is forced to revisit his invention once again, but there are some troubling things afoot; the black goop that Caylee threw up is "Fear Waste" and causes nasty scary hallucinations to anyone who comes in contact with it, his interns are more interested in selling a Fear Chamber to the competition than helping the patients, the ghost of a dead patient is determined to break through into the real world through an inflatable vagina-looking portal in the basement, and the guy in the wheelchair is harbouring a nasty secret of his own.

    It's really hard not to crap all over this film, but it has to be done. It is terrible. Even Robert Englund can't save it, because he's not even given the chance. The filmmakers, while they may have proven themselves worthy of short webisodes, have an underwhelming lack of skill in the realm of feature film, evidenced by overlong, painfully drawn out sequences that go nowhere, like some kind of horrific slow motion effect, nonsensical cuts, mind-boggling direction, CGI that goes from bad to worse...and that's not even getting into the subject matter of the film.

    True, a plot does not have to make sense for a film to be decent. We've watched Vincent Price explain the science of The Tingler, and nodded along in agreement. But there are so many willllld stretches happening in Fear Clinic, it goes clear outside of the realm of anything. Englund explaining the science of the Fear Chamber, which he does lengthily, is about the only entertaining moment in that it's so laughably badly written. Any dialogue in the film, as a matter of fact, is laughable, delivered by actors who clearly have no faith in the story they're presenting. By the time the goopy dreadlocked fear monster makes his appearance near the end, you'll wonder why you're still watching. But if you're not bound by duty to review the film, you're probably not making it that far, anyhow.


    Fear Clinic comes to Anchor Bay blu-ray in a 2.40:1 transfer that looks really good. Detail is sharp and clean, black levels are good, and compression and other artifacts are almost non-existent. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track has some decent use of the surrounds and that's one area that Fear Clinic does alright in....the soundtrack...and dialogue is up front and centre.

    A Behind the Scenes (11:51) is included as an extra, with cast and crew discussing the film's start from a web series and the making of the feature.

    The Final Word:

    If you liked the Web Series, there's a chance that you'll like the film. I don't know how, but there's a chance. Otherwise, it is recommended that you avoid Fear Clinic.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      I'm glad that one of the screencaps is the goopy dreadlocked fear monster.