Film

Movie Ramblings: The Facility

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The Facility is a story about a group of people who have signed up for a trial of an experimental drug. Of course, despite the stringent testing required before human trials are allowed, the trial goes wrong and loads of people end up dead. The film starts with a lengthy introduction of the characters and the drug trial process and it really feels like it is taking too long to get going. In contrast, once things start falling apart everything seems to happen too quickly. There is an interesting twist at the end but everything else in-between is pretty generic horror.

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Of course we have the usual collection of horror/slasher stereotype characters: a brash jock type who ignores all the rules and just wants to have sex fun; a hard-bitten veteran who’s seen it all (actually 2 of these, one man and one woman); a naive young idealist; a young girl who’s just there so the directors can find an excuse to get her naked. There’s also a journalist doing an undercover story and a couple of others for good luck. You can see why it takes so long to introduce the cast!

The drug has different effects on different people, all get violent, some towards others and some towards themselves. One takes off all their clothes. As the drugs start to take over it is up to the people who got the placebo and a few remaining medical staff to try to figure out how to survive the night.

I like the fact that there is no attempt to put the blame on some kind of mad scientist trying out his unlicensed drugs on unwitting guinea pigs. This is such an overused theme that it was a relief that it didn’t crop up in this film. However, it is also one of the annoying things as getting an extreme reaction like this in a human drug trial is ridiculously unlikely.

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There are some good bits of interaction between the dwindling cast of sane characters as they need to rely on each other to survive but at the same time don’t know when one of them might turn into a raving psychopath. For a change, they do come up with some sensible plans and some effective improvised weapons. Some bits of the film are quite fun but mostly it is a very generic horror which is too slow at the beginning and too rushed in the middle.

There’s some decent acting. The effects and gore are handled well and subtly, wisely leaving some things to the imagination of the viewer rather than going over the top. The ending is quite nice but whether it is worth the 80 minute wait to get there is debatable.

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