Director and writer Christopher Lawrence Chapman debuts his horror film release with Inoperable, assisted by screenwriter Jeff Miller, who both worked on ClownTown (2016), sadly it suffers from a case of both bad timing and lethargic pacing. First, the timing issue it comes out after the surprising success of Happy Death Day (2017), which capture the youthful market with an old concept. That film and Inoperable work off the comedic production Groundhog Day (1993) which, used the time loop route most effective, and conjurer a much smaller version of it for their movie. However, one cannot overlook the story concept in Star Trek Generations “Cause and Effect which predates Groundhog Day on March 23, 1992. As for the lethargic pacing, glaring obvious, though trying to understand what cause, extends from not the cast, rather the misspent location and lack of fuller budget, as one can only run through hallways so many times before it becomes old hat.
The story starts with Amy (Danielle Harris, horror icon who starred in many productions, including Blood Night) finds herself caught in traffic all from the forced evacuation order due to a storm of the century hurricane. Yes, a cliché element to explain away many aspects, though few scenes ever depict the impending gloom and doom, the viewers, likely welcome stock footage. Suddenly a switch and Amy awaken in a hospital (of sorts) finding her clothes and pulling IVs she begins to explore the bare hallways, sorry no zombies in the flick, just mindless nurses and doctors all with maddening procedures. Both Amy and the viewers share in the confusion of what and why it’s all happening and the only people that assist in helping her Jen (Katie Keene) Ryan (Jeff Denton), Ophelia (Crystal Cordero), and calls from her mother which reset the experience for us all. A hint of military deviousness sweeps in and announcing the importance of room numbers and codes existing in the Bay General Hospital, this in turn allows for clues to solving the mystery.
A major portion of the movie relates to running down aimless hallways and many dead ends, this action doesn’t assist in the pacing or in helping the viewer understand the puzzle displayed for them. The cast does their best to convey the anxiousness of the unknown with Harris keeping a high level of physical reaction to the terrors abound, from heavy breathing (due panic runs) and facial expressions, all to work for the benefit of the viewers. Yes, the gore flows well adding the right amount of macabre disembowelments and brain surgery interests, even an odd nod to Die Hard’s bloody feet moment, and the graphic surgical proceed brightly engulf the screen. However, it can’t save the entire production with these visual appeals, especially the commonly place destruction of the location i.e. falling ceiling panels and flickering lights.
As a fan of Harris’ films, I really hope it return to the baseline of her previous horror exploits, but sadly it really weighs on a struggle to find enjoyment with the entire production. The audience likely needs a lot of patience to make it through the entire film without hitting the pause button or becoming distracted with their phones and apps. This will appeal to some horror fans, although the lack of chills dissatisfies quickly.
IMDb Rating: 4.9/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10