In Patrick: Evil Awakens, a young nurse named Kathy takes a job at a facility that specializes in coma patients. She soon begins to suspect that Patrick, one of her charges, is communicating with her telepathically, in spite of his vegetative state. Her superiors dismiss her concerns but Kathy keeps attempting to make contact with Patrick and soon discovers that his interest in her may lead her and those around her in to danger.
The 1978 film Patrick wasn’t a bad choice to be tapped for a remake. It is somewhat unremarkable and there are things about it that could have been improved upon in a reimagining. Unfortunately, the redux doesn’t take full advantage of that. It almost seems that the creative team behind this reboot wasn’t trying all that hard. Justin King’s script is merely passable. There’s nothing exceptional about it but it isn’t entirely bad, either.
Mark Hartley, who had previously done a lot of work on documentary films, does an OK job directing Patrick: Evil Awakens. He establishes a certain amount of ambiance and sets a spooky enough tone. But he doesn’t do anything extraordinary or awe-inspiring. He seems satisfied with mediocrity and that is where the finished product lies. Hartley is reasonably successful at establishing the film’s pacing but it never becomes an edge-of-your-seat thriller. The film has its moments but they aren’t profound or plentiful enough to leave a lasting impression.
Most of the performances are about average, as well. It was nice to see Charles Dance (Alien 3) makes an appearance in Patrick: Evil Awakens. But he isn’t exceptional in the film. Sharni Vinson (You’re Next) is the only one that really shines here. She is affable and easy to identify with in her role as Kathy. Unfortunately, her talent isn’t enough to elevate the picture above mediocrity.
Beyond Vinson’s performance, the only other thing that really stood out to me about Patrick: Evil Awakens was Pinot Donaggio’s (Carrie) score. Donaggio is a master composer and his efforts in Patrick didn’t go unnoticed. What atmosphere the film does create is thanks, in large part, to the musical cues. While this isn’t representative of the composer’s best work, even his lesser efforts inspire the audience to take note.
There is very little gore in Patrick: Evil Awakens. And the body count is kept to a minimum. What onscreen violence does occur seems to have been done by way of prosthetics, rather than CGI, which is a plus. But the film is more reliant on ambiance than it is makeup FX. So there isn’t a lot of carnage to look at.
Patrick: Evil Awakens is mostly forgettable. Sharni Vinson’s performance stands out and Pino Donaggio’s score is memorable. But the rest of the film is not particularly noteworthy. It is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD. My recommendation would be to wait for this one to hit the Netflix streaming platform and watch it when you have some time to kill. Patrick: Evil Awakens isn’t a total waste but it’s nothing that you need to rush out and see immediately.
Director(s): Mark Hartley
Writer(s): Justin King
Stars: Sharni Vinson, Charles Dance, Rachel Griffiths
Year: 2014 (US)
Studio/ Production Co: Umbrella Entertainment
Length: 96 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Supernatural Horror