A short-tempered businesswoman, Sawyer, finds herself unwittingly committed to a mental institution after a brief meeting with a psychiatrist. Believing she was only signing standard paperwork under the instruction of the psychiatrist, Sawyer becomes enraged upon discovering she had signed permission for the institution to keep her for up to one week against her will. Surviving inside the institution proves to be more than just getting along with other patients, as Sawyer believes one of the staff to be a man that has been stalking her for years. She must face her fears and retain her sanity, which proves every day to be more and more difficult. The idea of this movie was great – in theory – but I feel like it could have been so much more. Be forewarned, there will be spoilers ahead.
At first, I was really getting into the whole “unwillingly committed” story, but then after I realized the institution only did it as part of some insurance scam – and not to torture or otherwise incite horror to Sawyer – I began to lose interest. Think about it. This could have been such a good horror movie if the institution was illegally snatching up sane people and then turning them crazy. Instead, they just keep people for a week or until their insurance runs out and then release them. Yes, it is a huge inconvenience to be committed, and might seem scary at first, but eventually it just becomes a waiting game until the week is out. They did throw in the whole “stalker killer” storyline to spice things up, which was nice, but I feel like it wouldn’t have been necessary if Sawyer trying to survive a week in a dark, horrific asylum was the plot. This is all personal opinion and the stalker storyline might have been enough for some people but I really believe it would have been better to have the stalker exist all in Sawyer’s head, which is where I thought the plot was leaning during some scenes.
Once we discover the employee at the institution is actually Sawyer’s stalker, the story does pick up a bit and the plot becomes about her stalker messing with her while she’s there. I don’t feel like we get enough character development on the stalker, and honestly having him kill Sawyer’s mother didn’t seem character appropriate, especially since he’s trying to win Sawyer over. That just doesn’t seem like something he would have done. I understood him killing her friend, since he would have seen him as a romantic threat, but not the mother. Eventually, Sawyer manages to escape the institution but only to be immediately abducted by her stalker. The scenes that followed – the scenes of her stalker chasing her through the woods – were all shot using a blue filter over the camera, I’m assuming to portray early morning or nightfall, I can’t tell, it just looks bad. I just remember during that whole scene, thinking to myself how crappy it looked with the blue filter over the lens.
The acting was great and the story line is pretty believable, but given the awesome poster and trailer for this movie, I expected more. I won’t dismiss this as a bad movie, because it wasn’t, but I also can’t recommend this to horror fans. The build-up was great and the suspense of not knowing what it was going to be like for Sawyer inside the institution was terrific, but ultimately I felt let down once I realized it was just a normal institution with normal patients.
This movie is…
Doesn’t quite make the cut for something I’d recommend.
Cheers and goodnight.