#312 -- The Clinic (2010)
Rating: 3.5 / 5
These days, I'm a little hesitant when it comes to surgery/hospital based horror movies. I haven't seen that many of them, so I'm not entirely sure why I'm so against them to begin with. I think it's because I'm afraid that something Human Centipede-esque is going to happen. Thankfully, this one wasn't anything like that. To me, it felt like Hostel meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
It took place in 1979, several years before the invention of DNA testing, which proves to be a crucial plot point. We meet Beth and Cameron, an engaged and pregnant couple on their way visit Beth's parents for Christmas. When they're run off the road by an old, rusty ambulance, they decide to stop and rest for the night at a shady motel. In the middle of the night, Cameron leaves to search for a snack, and when he returns, Beth is gone. The police are no help, nor is the equally shady manager of the motel, so Cameron takes matters into his own hands. He ends up pulling a gun on the police officer, stealing his car, and crashing it right before he can get to Beth.
So, where is Beth? She's at the clinic, of course. Her baby has been prematurely removed from her and hidden away in the clinic. She wakes up in a tub of ice, discovers that her child is missing, and goes on a search to find it. Along the way, she meets up with three other women in the same predicament. They are, for the most part, certain that their babies are alive and somewhere in the building, and their main priority is to find them. Everything turns out to be a sort of twisted game. Inside their bellies is a tag which matches the tags on their babies. Since there is no DNA testing at this time, the only way to figure out which baby is theirs, they have to remove the tags from their stomachs. There is another woman somewhere in the building who is on a mission to kill all the others, in order to provide a process of elimination to discover which baby belongs to her.
There are several different elements at work here. I mentioned two other movies earlier; allow me to explain my statement before you get too angry at my comparisons. It feels like Hostel for more than one reason, one of them being quite obvious: that the women wake up in strange places and in very strange and dangerous predicaments. The other reason you will discover once you watch the movie for yourself (I don't want to spoil the ending). Now, it feels a bit (only a little bit) like TCM because of the "everyone's in on it" aspect of it. The police, as well as the motel manager, knew everything all along, and they played a role in things in the end. That is where the comparison stops. The Clinic doesn't feel like a copy-cat at all. It has its own ideas, it works on its own merits, and it's definitely an enjoyable ride. I'm simply trying to give you an idea of what you're getting into.
The ending, while somewhat awkward and nonsensical, works in its own way. It raises some questions about the rest of the movie, but it makes enough sense as to not ruin it entirely. It ends on a neutral note that is both happy and depressing. It is not a perfect movie by any means. It has its plot holes, and it raises several questions when everything is said and done. It might leave you questioning the intelligence of some characters and the morals of some others. But in the end, all of those things can be forgiven. What this is, is a deeply disturbing movie that will give you a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach -- especially if you're a woman, and even more so if you're a mother.