I watched "Asylum Of The Damned"
last night. In the B-Movie world I'm more partial to sci-fi and fantasy, but do occasionally work a horror movie in.
Hard to talk about the story much without giving away too much, but that's ok because the movie itself tips it's jand pretty early ; and the cover art kinda gives it away. (note: if you want to keep any suspense in a movie and you want to 'reveal' the big bad guy as a shock, don't put him on the cover!)
The basic premise is that a new young (mental) doctor is starting his residence at an asylum. The head of the asylum is his 'hero'so he's excited about the chance to work there. He volunteers to work in Ward A with the worst of the worse patients and starts noticing strange things. Several inmatesand a few workers scared of 'them'; a dead body in one room with a terrible burn/scar on their chest, ruled as a heart attack; the words "Get Out" written in blood on the ceiling of his room.; and his hero doesn't seem quite as stable as he should be. He eventually finds out that the hospital is not for any sort of treatment, it's really just a holding pen for sacrifces. The worst of the patience, who have done terrible things but were sent to the hospital because they plead insanity are being ritually sacrificed to the "Harvester", an agent of Satan whom collects the evil souls of the patients bound for Hell, and the head doctor is running the whole thing.
The acting and atmosphere are pretty good. They manaded to do pretty well with minimalistic effects and sets, for the most part and the music/sound helped a lot
However, I got the feeling this movie wasn't sure what it wanted to be. The movie tipped it's hand pretty early on where it was going, which evaporated what could've been a lot of tension of "what's going and where is this going?". On the other hand there wasn't quite enough energy and motion (and violence) for a real horror movie. So in the end you sorta just sit through it, without it giving you enough of a scare. Also, the creature effects were pretty plastic-y looking, which robbed a lot of the scare that could've been there when it showed up. Many of the plot points don't really hold up if you think about them. How did the head doctor ever get in this position in the first place, given both his religious views and mental treatment attitude? Why did the guy trying to warn the young doctor do so by writing in blood on his ceiling? Could've been a lot more direct and less messy ways to do it. It bugs me when a movie will do something that seems creepy at the time when you are trying to figure out what's going on, but by the end when it's all laid out and you look back, you realize some of those earlier scares really made no sense...this was one such moment. Given that the head doctor said that the harvester only came for evil souls destined for Hell anyway, why was the 'good' young doctor worried?
In the end, the basic premise of the story (an insance asylum serving as a trap to sacrifice people to Satan) could've been a lot scarier (such as if innocent or 'good' people were being trapped and killed as well..just for one though), but the silly looking monster and the giveaways early on robbed this one of much of what could've been a better movie.