‘One new drug, seven volunteers, seventeen hours of hell’
The Facility is a 2012 British medical horror film written and directed by Ian Clark. It stars Aneurin Barnard, Alex Reid and Jack Doolan.
A clinical trial goes terribly wrong when the drug being tested, PRO-9 produces horrific side effects. The Facility of the title is the remote medical centre to which the volunteers are invited and the action is compressed into a few hours at the single location.
The film played in 2012 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival where it was chosen to be part of “The Best of the Fest” programme.
Reviews [contain spoilers]:
“Writer/director Ian Clark’s atmospheric film survives and flourishes on tension and the audience not knowing what’s going to happen next. Strong performances keep things believable, particularly Alex Reid and Steve Evets, and the intrigue of the premise carries the film.” Ross Miller, Thoughts on Film
“When it works, Guinea Pigs shows a certain deftness, a scurrying and commendable intensity, but when it doesn’t it’s more like a hamster in a wheel – lots of effort, but going nowhere.” Andrew Robertson, Eye for Film
“… it’s a pretty enjoyable, small-scale thriller … no nefarious mad scientists watching them from behind a monitor, no reveal that they were developing some sort of new bio-weapon or whatever – it remained grounded and focuses on the characters’ basic plight of being stuck and suffering from a potentially fatal injection.” Horror Movie a Day
“Most experimental and daring of all is Clark’s decision to have no soundtrack on the film. Music is so incidental and familiar to audiences in films that most of the time we don’t even hear it but once it is removed the silence is deafening. This brilliant move that not only adds to the rest of the naturalistic elements but also the fear factor…” Love Horror
“A good look and a great cast can only take any movie so far. The capable effort put forth on both sides of the lens in The Facility is uprooted by an idea that runs out of gas before reaching the halfway point. The Facility puts on the appearance of being a solid chiller, and comes close in several instances, but ultimately plays like a placebo to the substantial pills of more original, and more complete, films of a similar ilk.” Culture Crypt
” …where the film falls down is through a pretty weak script that’s clearly more focused on action than character, Clark populating the story with a poorly written group of stereotypes. With none of them even having the decency to be annoying in a hurry up and die kind of way, the faceless bunch are as indistinct and disposable as it’s possible to be, and this does detract from the overall impact of the many death scenes as well as leaving the film devoid of the human drama which would definitely have given it more punch.” James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood
“The Facility is basically The Crazies (or 28 Days Later or a dozen other similar films) in a confined setting, with the intriguing twist that the people involved know they will all turn eventually (well, until it’s revealed that some were given placebos), and they even know in what order they’ll likely turn. There’s a wealth of dramatic potential in this scenario, but The Facility fails to fully mine its depths…” Mark H. Harris, About Entertainment
“The Facility was well shot, well acted and well edited. But it is such a shame when the story lets a good project down.” Lizzie Duncan, Horror News
- Aneurin Barnard – Citadel; Elfie Hopkins
- Alex Reid – Arachnid; The Descent; The Descent Part 2
- Jack Doolan – Demons Never Die; Cockneys vs. Zombies
- Oliver Coleman
- Steve Evets
- Skye Lourie – Lake Placid vs. Anaconda
- Nia Roberts
- Amit Shah – Howl; Jekyll & Hyde TV series
The film was originally known as Guinea Pigs.