SANITARIUM ** USA 2013 108 mins
This is a well-cast, technically polished but dismayingly bland and unhorrific “horror” anthology that appropriates the structure of Amicus’ ASYLUM and the Amicus-alike TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS but isn’t even as much fun as the very weakest segments of the latter. Malcolm McDowell takes an easy pay cheque in the framing story, unveiling the reasons why three particular inmates came to be incarcerated. The subsequent stories feature John Glover (with Sideshow Bob hair) as an artist fixated on creepy dolls, Chris Mulkey as an abusive dad whose long-suffering son develops a shadow-man under his bed, and an OTT Lou Diamond Philips as a loner obsessed with the idea that the Mayans predicted an alien-engineered 2012 apocalypse. Painfully lacking in scares or interesting twins, the movie only briefly comes to life with Robert Englund’s wasteful cameo and the moment in which the astonishingly beautiful Mayra Leal shows her boobies.
Review by Steven West