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Psych:9


Some tightening would do a world of good

Rod Lott March 21st, 2011

After a nifty credits sequence that cleverly employs Rorschach imagery, the oddly punctuated “Psych:9” establishes a promising premise, only to go overboard in terms of predictability and amount of plot elements.

psych9

Former model Sara Foster (where you been since “The Big Bounce,” girl?) delivers a pretty good performance as Roslyn, a married but childless woman who takes a temporary gig of collating files at a hospital that’s just shut down. (And a good thing, too, judging from its dingy, grimy walls.) She works the night shift, doing the ER floor; as a shrink, Cary Elwes and his bad haircut deal with the psych ward’s files a few floors up. A nurse (an unrecognizable Colleen Camp) appears there, too. More rarely, a police detective (Michael Biehn) pops in to make sure everything’s OK, what with the serial killer known as “The Nighthawk” targeting neighborhood blondes.

Soon, Roslyn hears strange sounds and sees weird images pop up on the surveillance cameras. Is the hospital haunted? Could it be the work of The Nighthawk? And will you accept a further subplot about the rift in her marriage? You have no choice, for “Psych:9” demands you go along with it. Unfortunately, that route winds exactly the way you think it will, with the characters’ revelations something you long had guessed. (“Elwes” should be your first clue.)

Director Andrew Shortell deserves commendation for his debut feature’s sharp, morose look, but newbie Lawrence Robinson’s script — although sown from a good idea — throws too many ingredients into the pot, to the point where “Psych:9” seems unsure of which direction to take, like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel. Some tightening would do it a world of good. Even the final shot, while predictable, is held three times as long as it needs to be. Cut! —Rod Lott


 
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