‘In this hospital, the patients never leave…’
Inoperable is a 2016 American horror film directed by Christopher Lawrence Chapman from a screenplay co-written with co-producer Jeff Miller (ClownTown; The Burning Dead; Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan). The movie stars Danielle Harris, Jeff Denton, and Katie Keene.
Robert Kurtzman’s Creature Corps handled the makeup effects, with David H. Greathouse (Syfy Channel’s Face/Off) supervising.
A young woman (Danielle Harris) is in a seemingly evacuated hospital with a hurricane approaching that has awakened malevolent forces inside. The woman realizes she is trapped in a time loop and must escape the hospital before the storm passes, or she will be trapped there forever…
It is good see Danielle Harris back as the ‘Scream Queen’ we’ve all known and missed. And the premise of being stuck in a parallel universe is interesting (think of Groundhog Day but as a completely heart-stopping nightmare.) However, some portions of Inoperable were very tough to get past, and not in a squeamish manner.
Amy (Harris) is in a horrible traffic jam. More like a parking lot on the highway. Soon after we first see her in the non-moving Corvette, she opens her eyes in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV, unaware of how she arrived. Through the next five minutes, we get to watch Amy express her fear through a crazy monologue of….”hello?” Yes, that’s it. Over and over and over again… hello? Hello? Amy wanders from room to room, hallway to hallway, and keeps asking “hello?” It’s mind-numbing, irritating as hell.
However, the scenario turns into a series of Amy blacking out in the hospital, waking up in her car, and then reverting back to the bed where she begins to wake up regularly, and sets out to figure this puzzle of her reoccurring day out.
While passing the various TV monitors, the breaking news story is an evil storm racing towards her city with plenty of damage in its way. Does this storm carry any supernatural powers such as a portal into a third dimension?
Plain and simple, Amy is just having a bad day (or umm… nightmare). One minute, she walks unnoticed by hospital staff and watches bizarre and torturous procedures being conducted on patients. The next minute, she is being chased by orderlies who have been conducting vile human experiments on these patients.
When Amy runs around a corner and into the waiting room on one occasion, she meets Ryan (a young security guard) and Jennifer (a pretty blonde.) Ryan brought Jennifer to the hospital for a reason, and they become intrigued by Amy’s outburst that something bad is happening in the building.
We soon discover that Ryan and Jennifer have been stuck in this tumultuous reoccurring nightmare for years. Amy is their only way out… if she dies in this house of horrors, it will become like one of Dante’s circles of Hell, for all eternity.
The routine not only becomes redundant, but consistently dull. Unlike Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, Amy doesn’t make the same effort to change the pattern with hopes of getting all three of them out alive.
However, just it seems that Inoperable should be simply written off as a good idea, poorly executed, we are treated to an intriguing twist and within the snap of a finger – this review went from 2 stars to 3. Amazing what a little mental mind f*ck can do to an audience.
Meredith Brown, HORRORPEDIA
Other reviews [may contain spoilers]:
“It’s limited by its low budget, but lifted greatly by some good performances, especially Harris, who spends most of the movie out of breath in panic. She’s very good. Movies like this look like cheap B-movie fodder, but every once in awhile, a title or two will do something to change that perception. Inoperable is one such film…” David Duprey, That Moment In
“The directing and camerawork are kinetic as hell and make great use of the location and its labyrinthine hallways. And on top of that, the film is a fun mystery to try and unlock. Some might figure out what’s going on long before Danielle Harris’ character does, but as they say, it’s not always about the destination, it’s about the trip.” Mike Sprague, Arrow in the Head
“Alas, films like this often end in a frustrating, unsatisfying manner, which is particularly true of Inoperable. Nevertheless, it is the ride that matters, not the awkward dismount. Genre fans should be impressed by the extent to which it exceeds expectations. Recommended with surprising enthusiasm…” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins
“Danielle Harris seems bored to tears with a script that does nothing for her mediocre acting talents as she receives no support from a cast of D-grade actors that belong nowhere near a film set […] Using standardized characterizations of the freaky religious man, the overbearing mental health nurse or caretaker, and numerous other repetitious elements from other movies, Inoperable is just a mess…” The Movie Sleuth
“Inoperable does what most films cannot; it remains interesting. The film offers lots of action and interaction. As well, a large portion of the plot is kept in mystery. And, viewers will have to pay attention to some of the numbers that pop up, to figure out Amy’s escape route. […] Inoperable will pull most viewers into its convoluted story.” Michael Allen, 28 Days Later Analysis
• Danielle Harris – Halloween and Hatchet franchises
• Jeff Denton – ClownTown; The Beast of Bray Road
• Katie Keene
• Chris Hahn
• Michelle Marin – The Gainesville Ripper
• Cher Hubsher – The Amityville Terror
- Zorya Films
- Millman Productions
Greater Tampa, Florida, USA
The movie opened on December 1, 2017, in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Cleveland and Minneapolis for weeklong runs.
Inoperable was released in the USA by ITN Distribution on DVD and VOD on February 6, 2018.
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