Friday, January 13, 2017

Now on Netflix: Clinical (2017)

Clinical movie poster Netflix
Clinical (2017) - Directed by Alistair Legrand; Written by Luke Harvis, Alistair Legrand; Starring Vinessa Shaw, William Atherton, Aaron Stanford, Wilmer Calderon.

By Kenny Howell

Vinessa Shaw has always been an actress I've wanted to see more of on screen.

She has cropped up in good works over the years like Eyes Wide Shut, Two Lovers, 3:10 to Yuma, Side Effects, so on and so forth. But she's never really had the breakout, for whatever reason, that she deserves.

I am not suggesting that Clinical, the new Netflix movie that just released on Friday, will be that big break, because it isn't going to be widely seen. But it does show what she can do, which is carry a movie where she gets pretty much all of the screen time.

Here she plays a therapist named Dr. Jane Mathis who is trying to put her life back together after one of her patients, a young girl, attacks her and then takes her life rather gruesomely in front of her. After she returns to work, she decides not to see people who have been through extremely traumatic accidents, hoping a lighter workload will help her recovery. She is in therapy herself and has been doing well. However, a man who is in that situation calls and asks to see her. He has had a terrible injury to his face requiring multiple surgeries, and doesn't recognize himself anymore, which has led to extreme anxiety and depression. He seems at the end of his rope, and Jane feels sorry for him, so she takes him on as a patient.

But after a normal start, his therapy starts to get a bit more intense. It starts to break Jane who slips back into a bad place, seeing the young girl crop up more often in her life, something she battled with since the event. From there, things get quite a bit crazier (probably a little much so) as Jane's psyche breaks down.

The first two thirds of the film is quite good, with Shaw leading the way and Director Alistair Legrand keeping things tense enough to keep you just a little off. You know something is coming, just bubbling below the surface, and when it explodes, it definitely does so. I am always bagging on people to go farther with their films, but I think I would have liked Clinical more if Legrand held back just a little bit. He had such fine control of the first part of the film, I think it could have stayed closer to that, and maybe didn't need the extra bit of intensity at the end. Still, it is one of the better straight to Netflix efforts, and a great kickoff to movies in 2017.

Clinical is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***

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