That’s a bold statement that you usually do not here in our beloved genre of horror but it is indeed true. Based off the gothic Ozploitation film Patrick comes the remake directed by Mark Hartley Patrick Evil Awakens. Staying very close to the central theme and tones found in the original the remake has a modernized flair while still maintain the level of grittiness as the first, and even better.
Patrick Evil Awakens stars Sharni Vinson (You’re Next) as Kathy Jacquard who is a new nurse at a psychiatric hospital. Cleary escaping something from her past she becomes involved in her work and drawn to one of the comatose patients named Patrick (Jackson Gallagher). She is intrigued by the special attention giving to Patrick by Doctor Roget (Charles Dance) but has little say in what happens to Patrick thanks to the looming Matron Cassidy( Rachel Griffiths) who has some plans for Patrick herself. As harm starts to come to the different love interest in Kathy’s life she starts to believe Patrick is to blame. He also seems to respond to her and no one else which poses a problem for all the inhabitants of the hospital.
The original Patrick is a cult status iconic film. Rarely is there a chance that the remake could do the exact same thing. A fitting comparison would be Evil Dead and it’s 2013 remake. Though Patrick Evil Awakens suprasses the original by being just a tad bit smarter. Few films can create the same emotion felt in the original but Patrick does that while utilizing an up to date dynamic that makes this one of the more solid offerings so far in 2014. Vinson and the rest of the cast relish in their roles to the point that Patrick is not as much the central figure in the film as he was in the original. The remake gives the impression that the idea and mayhem of Patrick casually sits aside while we see each character develop their own immorality which makes his deeds almost a backdrop in the film. It truly works well as it allows you to invest in each character with the understanding that Patrick could strike at any minute (which of course he does).
The look and candor of Patrick Evil Awakens is really what stands out the most. The gothic display throughout the course of the movie allows you to feel the darkness surrounding Patrick. The scenes where he is manipulating Kathy are very successful due to the almost supernatural tension that is built during the course of the film. There are countless films involved with telepathic powers but the original idea of Patrick will always be one of the strongest. It’s very pleasing to know that this generation will have a chance to experience this remarkable tale and hopefully it prompts them to see the original film from 1978. I’m not sure how the late Richard Franklin would feel about his film being remade but he should be proud of this effort. Patrick Evil Awakens not only pays homage to his film but brings the story into a new generation of horror fans that is more than welcomed.
Patrick Evil Awakens is in theaters Friday March 14th. It is directed by Mark Hartley and stars Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vinson, and Peta Sergeant. Patrick Evil Awakens is being distributed courtesy of Phase 4 Films.