Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Crap?: Patrick- The Evil Awakens

Apparently this was deemed necessary.  In 2013, the folks over in Australia decided to do a Remake of Patrick.  The 1978 film tells the tale of a comatose man who hides some superhuman powers behind his still facade.  While a bit dated in presentation, it is still a Classic.  The 1980 Italian Rip-off/Remake (Patrick Still Lives)...not so much.  Was this necessary?  Why do you need to do a Remake?  Historically, they work when the technology has improved greatly (e.c. The Ten Commandments, The Wizard of Oz), when the film feels different...but in a good way (e.c. The Thing, The Fly) or when it just goes 'balls out' (e.c. Piranha).  In contrast, Remakes that don't work are repetitive (e.c. the Platinum Dunes films), Remakes in-name-only (Earth vs. The Spider, Teenage Cavemen, Thirt13n Ghosts) or are just plain disappointing (Village of the Damned, Children of the Corn, Silent Night).  Other than the addition of CG and some slight aesthetic changes, this film is mostly the same.  The real question is this: is it good?  To find out the answer, you'll just have to read on...
Instead of showing us what Patrick did right in the beginning, this one gives us the *sigh* Opening Kill Trope.  There is SOME pay-off to this later, although it is stupid.

That is a tricky thing though: the hook of Patrick was seeing the powers revealed, while it is obvious in a Remake.  I guess they had to do something...but this wasn't it.
In an odd change, the regular Hospital is now a private Hospital in what appears to be in the middle of nowhere near a cliff.  It's more spooky...and silly.  Trade-off?
We still get our usual heroine, now with a boring back-story involving an estranged man.  It is *yawn* so exciting and *yawn* riveting.
She meets Patrick in his own private room- as the rest are lumped together in a Hall- and she makes sure to comment on how his muscle tone has been retained.

You're a real Nurse right?  I mean, people do wear outfits like that on Halloween.  Just a thought.
Anyhow, the Doctor- that evil guy on Game of Thrones- is doing all sorts of experiments on the comatose and has a deadline.

Didn't Robin Williams do this like 20 years ago?  Given this film's propensity for toothless Jump Scares, this one is about equally as scary.
You want to know whether or not this film 'jumps the shark' or not?  Well, here's your answer...

Patrick uses his telekinesis/telepathy to long-range access the Nurse's computer and check out her Facebook page.  So, in summary, YES!!!!
Bonus shark-jumping points for using a power from Patrick Still Lives- telekinetic superheating of objects!  Seriously, he superheats 'I'm Going to Die' Friend's phone and it starts to melt into his car seat!

He also controls the engine, the steering, the brakes and the seat-belt switch simultaneously to drive the car off of a cliff.  It makes you wonder what Professor Xavier could do if he went off the deep end!
We eventually get the flashbacks to Patrick's earlier killings- no SPOILER since this is a Remake and it is in the Plot Synopsis everywhere- near the end.  Why?, drama?
To really amp up the ridiculous, Patrick communicates with our heroine via text message.  Patrick has the mindset of a 17 year-old girl, apparently.

If you don't know how this ends, I won't SPOIL it for you.  Enjoy the disappointment fully.  The End.
If you don't know the original, it could be worse.  As it stands on its own, it is a good premise bogged down by the execution.  The film is full of many of the cliches and ideas that hurt modern films.  You get about a dozen fake-out jump scares- joy.  You get about half a dozen Scenes of people just wandering around in dark hallways- yea.  Oh and, of course, the Opening Kill Cliche- always great.  Without SPOILing what they are/when they happen, we also get a few too many 'Something crazy happens...oh, it's a dream' bits.  Does anyone like those?  Having said all that, the uses of Patrick's powers are often neat, even if they make you scratch your head quite a bit.  I've already said my peace on this, so you get the idea.  As far as this being a Remake goes, it mostly just flips things around.  What little it does new is just kind of silly.  I still recommend the Original over this one for a particular reason: this one feels dated.  It is chock full of modern Horror cliches, while having an overall plot that feels like something out of the 1960s.  The Original, while made in 1978, feels as timeless as possible.  I will give this film credit for one thing: the return of withered man from Lifeforce!
Next up, I return to one of my favorite punching bags...I mean, Actors.  With a cadre of D-List Stars, can the ponytailed one shine?  Stay tuned...


  1. Holy shit, it is already out? Dayum, it's sooo long since I've seen the original. Prepare for a Triple-review in the near future :)

    1. Copying me again, Maynard? You need to find your own material. :-)

      I look forward to your reactions to that crap Italian Remake.