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Strap on your straight jacket and admit yourself into the Sanitarium

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Sanitarium

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With all the types of horror films being put out these days the anthology style seems to be gaining more popularity. Films like the VHS series and The ABC’s of Death have set the bar pretty high, but the latest Sanitarium looks to not only tackle the genre, but take it back to the format similar to films like Creepshow and Body Bags. The film sports an impressive cast including Malcolm McDowell, Lou diamond Phillips, John Glover, Robert Englund, and Lacey Chabert, but does it have the stories to back it up?

Sanitarium follows a doctor in a mental hospital telling three tales of how patients including an artist who begins taking orders from the dolls he exhibits, an eight year old boy, cruel father, concerned teacher and hallucinatory monster come into conflict and a Professor convinced of the Mayan apocalypse prophesies who builds bomb shelter to save his family all ended up behind these locked doors. Much like most anthology style films this one is hit and miss, but thanks to the cast still works fairly well. Malcolm McDowell headlines this movie as the doctor telling the tales and while doesn’t have a lot to do, still manages to steal the show. Each story brings something to the table and are all different enough to appeal to different types of fans. This is great from a standpoint of creating an intriguing film, but also will potentially divide viewers. The first story works well and plays up the supernatural aspect with some fun twists and turns in a story following some dolls that is reminiscent of a Charles Band Full Moon Horror film, with John Glover seemingly going all in with the role and looks to be having a blast. The second is probably the best of the three taking on the creature feature and delivering and effective story that has all the goods for a fun creature film without trying to make it too complicated. Lacy Chabert headlines this one as a teacher trying to help this young boy, but things turn fairly sinister making for one that will have the fans routing for the creature. The final story is one that plays against with obsession and the blurred lines of insanity and reality making for a compelling story. Lou Diamond Phillips is great here, but the story itself is a bit all over the place and slow but in the end still works.

At first glance this film looks like it will be some kind of horror film, but it’s really not. Instead it plays with varying degrees of insanity or the appearance of insanity. This could have easily become a throw away film, but thanks to a good cast and using this format it ended up being a well-made film that may not resonate with everyone, but is still smart and different enough to stand on its own.

Check yourself into the Sanitarium when it hits stores on December 31st.

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