Macabre…ish Horror Review: Alive
Alive, 2018/ 1 hr 31 min.
A man (Thomas Cocquerel) wakes up in a hospital, and he seems to have been horribly injured and bandaged up. After disconnecting himself and falling on the floor, he has flashes of memory. He crawls into the hall of a dark and dirty corridor, this is no normal medical facility. A ‘doctor’ (Angus MacFadyen) finds him crawling and returns him to his bed. The man talks to him as he repairs what he damaged while trying to leave.
Later on, the doctor returns and there’s another patient in the room, she’s also in various states of disrepair and unconscious. When she’s wheeled out, the male patient tries to escape again, he gets caught this time and medicated.
When he wakes up, days later, the female patient (Camille Stopps) is back and awake. She talks to him, neither know where they are or why they’re there. She asks him if he knows who she or he is and because he can’t speak, he shakes his head ‘No.’ She can’t remember either. And in the corner, in the dark, sits their ‘doctor’, listening.
When the male patient wakes again, the woman is out again and the doctor says he’s been helping her. As he mops pools of blood off the dirty floor. He then tries feeding them some horrible looking gruel with herbs in it. The woman eats willingly but the male patient is forced and he’s furious when he spits it out and spits in his face. The woman chokes after a flashback of her attack by a man in a mask and has to be revived.
Afterward, they are both moved to what this ‘doctor’ insists is physical therapy by forcing them to exercise. As usual, he insists that pain is good and means they’re alive. But it looks like torture of already terribly injured people. The woman begs the doctor to stop hurting the male patient.
Later, the two patients wake up outside. They notice the windows are boarded up and the building is derelict. There’s also a dog penned up out there. The woman wants information and advocates for her and the guy to go home. But the ‘doctor’ just acts weirder and more threatening. Insisting that this is home.
With shears the crazy doctor tries to make the male patient stab the female patient. They struggle to stop him and the male patient finally manages to speak. They are then gassed again and wake up in their room. They talk and try to remember what happened. She thinks she might be a mother. She wants to wait for rescue but he is determined to escape. And that day’s meal is dosed with a paralytic, as a result.
Then the male patient is put into a bath tub to nearly drown while the doctor creepily gives the woman a sponge bath in his lap. The patients take the opportunity to try to escape when he leaves them alone in the bathroom. While searching for a way out, it’s bleaker than expected. There are rooms splashed with blood, entrances and exits are totally blocked off, some are even bricked up. All the windows seem to be boarded shut.
They end up in a nursery and suddenly the female patient knows she has a daughter.
The doctor taunts them over the intercom and turns out the lights. He warns them that there’s no way out.
In a lab they find polaroids of themselves on a tack board and many others in a file. They hear him coming with his dog and unfortunately they do not get very far. Once he has them under his control again. He tries to make a deal with the woman to spy on the guy and tell him what he says.
He wants to hobble him permanently, the options are blind him, silence him, castrate him or kill him. But it’s up to her, she chooses silence. The doctor gifts her earrings, forcing them into her unpierced ears. Then he gasses her while he silences the male patient, sewing his mouth shut. But he doesn’t think it’s enough, he wants to cut off the male patients legs but she convinces him to settle for a toe. Before she attacks him. Slamming a glass vase into his face, gouging one eye and then besting him in a fight.
She releases the guy and he cuts the sutures sealing his mouth shut. And they get back to looking for a way out. They find the freezer with other human remains inside and rooms full of bloody tools and puddles of blood, everywhere. The bottom of a stairway, is covered in blood and a good collection of body parts in different stages of decay. But there is a door to outside and on the other side of it is the doctor and his dog, who he unleashes. They go back inside and hide in the freezer with the corpses.
The doctor enters the freezer searching for them with his dog and they best him again and lock the door on their way out. Outside, they find this place to be a sprawling complex surrounded by forest and mountains. But there is a road and cars to flag down.
Finally someone stops and it’s the doctor, again! They run into the forest past two graves and stop at a cliff, the male patient is shot but they get one more try to end this guy and take it. While the male patient starts to succumb to his wound he tells her to call him Joe and she chooses Elizabeth. They hear voices and stumble over to some campers.
Once again, Joe opens his eyes in a hospital room and Elizabeth is there too. A doctor (Gerrick Winston) and a detective (Chantal Perron) comes in to talk to them but want to do it separately. They took blood and fingerprints. They say the finger prints on Joe’s left and right hands don’t match and belong to other people. And same with her. Plus Elizabeth’s daughter (Zoe Marlette) comes in but she saw her die when she was younger. It’s not what either of them thought, not by a long shot.
This was directed by Rob Grant and it’s been a long time since I’ve been surprised by a movie! This was well done. It is very gory, bloody and often painful to watch. And the cast is extremely small but the right people were cast. The tone of this movie is bleak and eerie and cause the watcher to prematurely assume where this is going but most will be wrong. Good job!