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The Clinic


Probably should've miscarried.

Rod Lott August 4th, 2011

Aussie thriller “The Clinic” begins on Christmas Eve 1979, "six years before the advent of DNA testing," the odd title read, and the visibly pregnant Beth (Tabrett Bethell, TV’s “Legend of the Seeker”) and Cameron (Andy Whitfield, TV’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”) are headed to spend it with her mother.

theclinic

No sooner do we meet them then a car barrels up on them menacingly — something we’ve seen in dozens of films, from the classic “Duel” to the crap-tastic “Jeepers Creepers.” They stop for the night at a creepy motel — shades of “Vacancy” — and in the morning, one of the spouses has gone missing — hello, “Breakdown”!

It’s Beth, who wakes up totally nude in a bathtub full of ice and a fresh, vertical scar down her baby area, from which her unborn child so rudely has been plucked. Despite being reminiscent of so many other thrillers, these 30 minutes comprise the best of “The Clinic.”

But that’s where debuting writer/director James Rabbitts’ film stops working.

Beth finds herself prisoner at the title site (at least it’s a classy joint, as everything is labeled with Roman numerals) along with several other women who also have gone through forced deliveries. Beth has a chance to escape, but “Not Without My Daughter.”

So begins “The Hunger Games,” as re-imagined by Jigsaw: a scavenger hunt for a most twisted object. There’s loads of potential there, but Rabbitts muddies it up with a needless subplot about our heroine having dreamt all of this beforehand. Is the supernatural at work, or is it just a case of a creative who hasn’t yet found his storytelling footing? The latter.

I can’t recommend watching it, and that goes double — perhaps off the charts — for expectant mothers and new moms experiencing postpartum depression. —Rod Lott

 
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