Fear Clinic utilizes impressive low budget special effects in place of a decent screenplay, believable acting, or direction that is even moderately decent. The special effects department might as well be listed as the film’s director, because that is the only thing to keep this low budget cliché moving forward from one dull scene to the next. Director Robert Hall is best known for his work as a makeup artist, and his filmography as a director has been predictably dominated by this visual aspect, with little to no regard for the narrative aspects of storytelling.
What is slightly disappointing is how clever the initial plot seems to be, with a mad scientist of sorts (played by horror icon Robert Englund) using controversial immersion therapy to cure patients of their phobias. Dr. Andover (Englund) invented a fear chamber for patients to safely face their greatest fears, through unexplained science fiction technology that allows him to participate and view the experience. This controversial study is shut down, but the doctor is forced to start it up again to help a group of traumatized victims of a public shooting.
This darker aspects of the film’s narrative allow no humor or spectacle beyond the gruesome elements of the film. It makes for bleak entertainment, which is not even the worst problem. Even dark horror has a place if it is compelling, but this web-series turned horror film is far too slow to start. By the time the action and effects began to pick up, I had already lost interest in what happened to the various indiscernible characters.
The Blu-ray is for sale exclusively at Best Buy (until May 12th), and it features one behind-the-scenes featurette. The high definition presentation of the film is not nearly impressive enough to warrant watching this film on Blu-ray, but the best solution might be to skip it altogether. Only die-hard horror fans are likely to find any joy from this material.
Entertainment Value: 3/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3.5/10
Historical Significance: 2.5/10
Special Features: 3/10
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