The Hospital (2013)

I truly wanted to like The Hospital.  I think it’s important to support independent film making whenever possible.  Unfortunately, this film really made me struggle to find what it wanted to be.  Is it a ghost story set in an abandoned hospital?  Is it a slasher film about a rapist named Stanley?  Or perhaps it’s supposed to be a torture film with a group of crazy psychopaths preying on their drugged victims.

This ambitious film was directed by Tommy Golden and Daniel Emery Taylor (who co-wrote and starred in the film).  The story takes place at the haunted St. Leopold’s Hospital, in the town of Bridgeport.  A team of would-be ghost investigators goes to the hospital in the hopes of finding real ghosts and possibly appearing in a television show.  Unfortunately, the janitor Stanley Creech is raping and murdering people at this facility.  What no one realizes is that the ghosts of the hospital are real and they are not happy with what Stanley is doing.

[Possible spoilers beyond this point]

You would think that a movie with John Dugan, Jim O’Rear, Jason Crowe, G. Larry Butler, and Daniel Emery Taylor would be simply outstanding.  Now I’m willing to give a little leeway on extras, especially for an independent film.  But there were moments when I cringed.  The rescue party for example was laughable and like Keystone Cops.  And several of the scenes with the young ladies didn’t impress me either, though maybe because of poor direction or writing, rather than the acting.  Sadly, the actors really shine during the torture scenes, which I am typically not a fan of.

The characters were mostly dim-witted and stereotypical.  I mean, the Goth Chick was dark and broody.  The Happy Chick was cheerful and wanted to help everyone.  The Creeper was…creepy.  And of course the slut was…well…the slut.  And why would a police officer not treat an accusation of rape seriously, considering the victim was an outstanding student and probably had no record of filing false reports?  Granted the sergeant yelled at him for that, but then we find that she is in cahoots with the psycho rapist murderers.  What?  So why would she send the officer to go investigate them, knowing what was actually happening?  Knowing that they would have to kill him?

I really wished the story focused more on the ghosts trying to get everyone out of the hospital.  That to me would have been an interesting story.  And let’s face it, the hospital itself actually looked too clean and serviceable for me to think it had been abandoned or was scary.  The featurette with Scott Tepperman was honestly more appealing to me than the rest of the film.  What could have been a nice way to blend different horror genres; instead turned into something that seemed like a fast way to end the story.  But with that said, it appears that Hospital 2 is in pre-production, so apparently it’s not the end of this tale.  Hopefully, the film makers will improve on the missteps of this one.

I give it a 1.0 out of 5.  You can probably skip this one, unless you are a die-hard horror fan or a reviewer.

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