A great review from Brian Collins, but because it contains big spoilers, I'll only quote the safe parts for those who don't want to find out too much about the plot, you can read the rest on the Bloody Disgusting page.
First, please vote for the film here: http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/film/4961
Originally posted at Bloody Disgusting and Horror Movie A Day.
Just when I thought I’d had enough of “let’s tie a woman up and do stuff to her” movies, along comes The Clinic, which gives the sub-genre a breath of fresh air, thanks to a unique scenario, a decent twist, and way above average technical and acting qualities. I’m actually kind of bummed that I opted for a goddamn Blu-ray screening of Texas Chain Saw Massacre at Frightfest over this film, which was showing at the same time (on the smaller screen). Stupid BC!
Along with Inside and Grace, maybe I just have a thing for mothers dealing with some truly horrible pregnancy issues? The titular clinic is a place where mothers that are near birth are given c-sections (not by choice) and then set loose. Some want to band together to find their babies, others just want to escape by any means necessary. Why the babies were taken, and why the mothers weren’t just killed, becomes clear in the film’s final moments, and while it’s not too surprising, it is pretty damn unique, and more than makes up for some of the film’s weak spots, such as the generic opening, with a couple stopping at some out of the way place run by weirdos, only for their situation to turn grim before the night is through.
However, since the film is set in 1979, I can’t question why the characters haven’t seen the 560 million horror movies that start out this way, because many of them didn’t exist yet. And the period also keeps the movie from having the standard “no signal” cell phone scene, or explaining away other modern elements that ruin the plotting of horror movies – I’m actually surprised we don’t see more period horror films because of this.
There are two minor twists after the big revelation though, and they require perhaps a bit too much of your suspension to be disbelieved. The first isn’t too bad – it’s telegraphed earlier in the film at least, and it fits with the “geography” of the story (trying not to spoil). The other is a bit ridiculous though. ... I’m just not a big fan of coincidences in movies to begin with, and two in a row irked me.
It’s a shame actor Andy Whitfield is currently battling cancer (I look forward to his full recovery!), because in a perfect world he would not only be healthy, but also be getting the roles Sam Worthington gets. They have a similar shape and look, but the difference is, Whitfield is actually interesting to watch, and capable of making a compelling character. He doesn’t get much to do, since the focus is primarily on the mother (the equally impressive Tabrett Bethell), but he gets a number of good moments. Sometimes in a structure like this, you’ll be enjoying the A plot too much to want to cut to the B plot (think Saw V, or any Saw depending on your like/dislike of the guy being tested), and this could have been no exception if not for the fact that Whitfield makes for an enjoyable man on a mission.
The movie also has one of the best “Oh shit...” scares in recent memory. ...
My last two notes say “Walken” and “Music”. Walken refers to the fact that the clinic’s handicapped janitor sounds like Christopher Walken. And I always write “music” when I like the music, but I don’t know why, because there’s not much to say about it. I liked the music. That’s it.
The film has already been released in Australia (or at least, has a distributor to do so), but not in the States as of yet, which is a shame (and somewhat surprising, given the success of "Spartacus"). Hopefully that will be rectified soon. In the meantime, ask yourself this – between this and "Lost," do fictional Australian women ever have nice, uncomplicated pregnancies?