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Inoperable Review

Inoperable is a 2017 horror film about a young woman who wakes up in a seemingly evacuated hospital with a hurricane approaching that has awakened malevolent forces inside.

It must be a contractual thing in horror films that when your star wakes up in a hospital, they are all alone smack in the middle of something very, very bad happening outside. This is especially true of zombie or zombie-ish movies, however in Christopher Lawrence Chapman‘s latest Inoperable, things take a little twist, with a story that combines a bit of that with a time loop and a dark force tied to a severe storm. If anything, it’s a clever little thriller with a terrific lead performance, good direction, and a lot more smarts than you’d expected.

Sitting in heavy traffic – in her stylish classic Corvette Stingray – Amy Barrett (Danielle Harris) checks her watch and suddenly wakes up in a hospital bed. Calling out, no comes, and she finds the place seemingly abandoned while news on the television warns of an approaching hurricane. There are people though, but they don’t seem to see her, literally when she’s right in front of them. It’s creepy and unsettling, but in a blink, she’s back in her car, though only for a moment, when she wakes up again back in the hospital, looking as if it’s a repeat from before, except this time, things are a little different. These people do see her, but are actively hunting her. She comes upon two others, Jen (Katie Keene), a beautiful leggy blonde who was just in a minor car accident and Ryan (Jeff Denton), a cop who brought her in. They tell her they are stuck in a time loop started by the storm crossing over a secret government facility. Now they have to figure out how to work the loop in their favor and somehow stay alive before they are trapped inside the nightmare forever.

Time paradox movies are typically one of two breeds, with one side spending a lot of effort on explaining the hows and whys of the process and the other outright ignoring any attempts to do so. Think of the differences between Shane Carruth‘s Primer (2004) and Harold RamisGroundhog Day (1993) and you get what I mean. Inoperable falls somewhere in-between, with most of the film skipping from traffic jam to hospital corridors while poor Amy tries to piece it all together, slowly learning that there are actually some rules to the chaos, yet more importantly, a bit of the reasons for why it’s all happening. But be assured, you will only think you know what’s going on, because and even then, you’ll be wrong.

Chapman, who wrote the story with Jeff Miller, keeps things moving pretty fast, and the brisk film, at only 80 minutes doesn’t waste time with exposition, purposefully keeping things a little hard to understand as Amy jumps back and forth, with each return to the hospital increasingly more troubling. Admittedly, by the fifth or sixth time, you’d think the gimmick would have worn itself out, but the film constantly layers in a new hint that works to keep you guessing, with the truth of Jen and Ryan key to the escape. While there are some cool gory moments, all done with grisly practical effects, Inoperable is hardly a horror movie, it more a mystery than anything else. 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, a smart and clever thriller that forces you to pay attention. I’m a sucker for films like this. We’re too used to the sheen of high production duds fooling us into thinking we’re watching something better than it is, not giving honest Indie efforts the chance they deserve. Inoperable deserves a chance.

Inoperable Review

Movie description: Inoperable is a 2017 horror film about a young woman who wakes up in a seemingly evacuated hospital with a hurricane approaching that has awakened malevolent forces inside.

Director(s): Christopher Lawrence Chapman

Actor(s): Danielle Harris, Katie Keene, Isabella Sofia Menna

Genre: Thriller

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One Response

  1. The Vern November 27, 2017