Director: Mark Hartley
Starring: Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vilson, Peta Sergeant, Damon Garneau
The killer in a coma returns
The young, but bright nurse Kathy Jacquard is starting her new job at the Roget Clinic, a private hospital that treats comatose patients. It is run by the arrogant Dr. Sebastian Roget and his creepy daughter and head nurse Matron Cassidy.
Kathy takes a liking to one of the patients, a young male named Patrick. She starts to believe that even though he is in a coma, he can hear what is happening around him and even feel pain. But it doesn’t take long before she realizes that while Patrick is bound to his bed, he is still dangerous to her and her closest ones.
Patrick is a remake of a 1978 movie with the same title. I’ve seen the original a long time ago, but hardly remember anything about it except that it seemed like a decent story to tell again on the big screen. This version is way more visually polished and feels less exploitative than the original. The traditional gothic atmosphere sets this a part from most newer horror films, even if they couldn’t resist themselves from adding a few unnecessary jump scares scenes. I’m guessing someone was afraid that it wouldn’t be “horror” enough without these additions. Commercially it probably was a smart move, but I would have prefered them to just tell the story and stay away from the cheap scares.
It is not only the visuals that are done very well in this film. The acting is great, it is easy to care for the main character Kathy, played by the lovely Sharni Vilson and it is just as easy to be creeped out by Rachel Griffiths as head nurse Matron. Peta Sergeant was charming as Kathy’s friend and Charles Dance does a great job by balancing the madness and arrogance as Doctor Roget.
To set this in the modern day, the addition of newer technologies such as cell phones and internet was added to the story, which of course makes sense but some of the choices with how Patrick used technology to spread his fear didn’t work very well. There are also some below average special effects that could have been avoided and brings the movie down a bit.
Patrick is a respectable remake and more importantly a good film on its own. It is however not a film you will remember several years down the line or probably ever revisit, but it is done well enough to deserve at least one watch, especially if you like gothic and atmospheric horror films.