I had some high hopes for Insanitarium – asylum horror is usually good stuff. The good news is Armin Sherman is in this! The bad news is so is Olivia Munn.
We get the premise upfront – dudes sister was mentally ill, but the assignment really telling what he needs to know so he gets himself committed . Olivia Munn checked him in, and I’m hoping that the last we see of her – I also spotted David Sussman! Most people know him as Stuart from Big Bang, but I still remember him from his days doing cell phone and Best Buy commercials. He’s got a significant role actually as one of the inmates and is positively an exposition machine. It’s weird to see him playing his usual nervous schtick straight this time rather than for comedy. He explains why the creepy prisoners in the white cells have huge dilating eyes and expresses the general feeling that the head doctor experimenting on them.
Our hero finds his sister – she is suicidal but he’s not ready to leave yet. We get a lot of the typical tropes – a evil guard, group therapy session with the head nurse straight one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest. During group therapy one of the prisoners goes nuts and attacks our hero – obsessed with blood from his cut thumb.
The thing is, despite what sounds like a genuinely creepy premise, the film isn’t particularly atmospheric – and I don’t get a real sense of danger until we hit the third act when all hell breaks loose.
It’s definitely worth sticking around for, with gallons of blood and inventive kills – the last 30 minutes of this film are exciting and visceral, I just wish they could spread a little more of that around earlier.