Tuesday, September 21, 2010
A battered woman stumbles out of the wilderness and is admitted into the hospital…once she has been treated Detective Zane (Jason London) visits her to ask about her ordeal. The young woman, named Sienna (Allison Lange), recounts how she and her pre-med friends headed up to an isolated castle for some rest and relaxation. However, a mysterious man in black followed them, and one by one they were kidnapped and taken to a dank underground “hospital” where crazed Doctor Hopkins (Andrew Prine) utilized his new “patients” for experiments as well as harvesting their organs for the black market. However he and his staff treated them, one by one they ended up dead…except for Sienna, who happened to escape.
As Sienna recounts her tale to the Detective, she tells him more about the man in black, whose name was Alexander Tatum (Carlos Lauchu). Alexander should have been a renowned surgeon, but a tragic past and a daughter diagnosed with a rare disease lead him to help Doctor Hopkins in exchange for a possible cure for his sick daughter.
Will Detective Zane get to the bottom of the killings? Will Alexander come after Sienna now that she’s escaped?
Yes, this is another kids-getting-kidnapped-for-their-organs movie like a ton of other “torture porn” flicks out there. And, in my opinion, it’s one of the most boring. I was expecting some nicely done gore and a familiar but entertaining story…however I didn’t really get anything I was hoping for. The movie never really “grabbed” me and I was bored from the first couple of scenes all the way to the end. You don’t know how many times my finger was itching for the fast-forward button!
However, even though I didn’t like the film, let me rattle off some technical strengths it had…First off, it was competently shot thanks to director Tammi Sutton. I thought the lighting was great and the scenes in the underground black market “hospital” were very atmospheric. The acting was also pretty decent; I especially liked the performances from Allison Lange as survivor girl Sienna and Carlos Lauchu as the dark and mysterious Alexander.
These few strengths, however, were not enough to make Sutures a good or enjoyable film. I’ve read positive reviews of the film, all of which left me scratching my head. Did we watch the same film? The film started somewhat strongly enough once it got past the boring bits of showing Sienna and Detective Zane in the hospital. The group of pre-med students was typical, but at least the characters had distinct personalities. Things started getting rocky when attention was averted to Alexander. At first he was an intriguing and mysterious presence, but that mysteriousness was all stripped bare as soon as he killed a gas station attendant. By that time, too much had been shown of the killer and my interest in him waned.
Then, somehow Alexander became like a ninja and was able to infiltrate the castle and soundlessly kidnap the kids one by one. This just seemed implausible to me and was pretty groan-worthy. The action then moved to the underground hospital and started to feel awfully like Hostel. Except that instead of people paying to torture youths, Doctor Hopkins had set up a kind of underground medical school. He had the victims pumped full of exotic diseases and gave them fatal wounds, then challenged his med students to keep them stable. Or he just ripped their organs and breast implants out to sell on the black market. An interesting concept, but it was never developed to its potential. Plus, this storyline diverted attention from the much more interesting Alexander (maybe by “interesting” I just mean hot, ok!), who was demoted from lead killer to the Doctor’s lackey.
With all these intersecting storylines things got convoluted pretty fast. There’s the story of Detective Zane trying to get answers from Sienna, then Alexander’s tragic past flashbacks, then the Doctor’s black market hospital and Sienna’s survival of the hospital. It just tries for too much and while the twist ending tries to tie up loose ends, it just fails. The ending might come as a surprise, but that’s only because it is so ludicrous.
Making things even more confusing was the editing, which jumps from past to present randomly and with little explanation. Look, I don’t need my hand held when watching a film, but the jumpy editing made things hard to follow and the film really should have been more streamlined.
Plus, who the F cast the kids who are supposed to be some of the characters as children in flashbacks?? Did no one notice they were completely different races than the adult characters? It’s called common sense and continuity, people, and the filmmakers failed on both accounts!
All of these problems may have been forgiven had there been any memorable bloodshed in the film, but the gore is all pretty typical. Well-done, but uninteresting. People who have been infected with a disease spew up black bile, limbs are hacked off, organs and implants are cut out, people are shot and so on, but nothing that really stood out to me. Perhaps I’m just a jaded horror viewer, but none of the gore in Sutures grabbed me.
Sutures is a forgettable film that lacks a cohesive narrative and an engaging story. It’s poorly put together and not even the gore scenes are memorable. To me, it was a very bland horror flick with few redeeming qualities. If watching horror flicks about organ harvesting rings is your thing, then by all means have at it. However, if you like your horror original, scary and gruesome, Sutures is not a good match. My body definitely rejected it (nyuck, nyuck!).
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