student James Bishop, with a view to obtaining his doctorate,
begins a residency at the notorious St. Andrews hospital for
the criminally insane. He is offered access to low-risk patients,
but is only interested in A-Ward. As his work progresses,
uncovering a string of mysterious deaths as a result of heart
attacks, Bishop learns that the ravings of these madmen are
worth listening to...
most accurate way to describe Hellborn is as a cross
between Michael Crighton's Coma and the sixties film
version of Tales From The Crypt. We have the hospital
- or, in this case, mental asylum - harbouring a terrible
secret. This first part might persuade you the plot involves
the uncovering of corruption, bad-management and mistreatment,
if not for the teaser prologue. In fact, when the key character
first arrives, there is the disorientation of not knowing
who are the doctors and who the patients.
there's the white-robed cult preparing victims for the demon
representative of Satan. Like Doctor Who's the Destroyer,
it looks very impressive but doesn't really do much. It takes
what seems like an age to stomp across the floor, giving anyone
with the will to survive time to pack their suitcase before
running from the room. It burns a massive handprint in the
chest of the relevant victim, stealing the soul for its master.
Exactly why, I've yet to comprehend.
Much as I like horror and the supernatural, there's no convincing
plot here, and nothing really new enough in terms of ideas
to make you sit up and take notice. The film tagline is Forgotten
Rooms, Dark Hallways, Hellborn. All I have to say to that
is, "Eh?" The cover blurb also takes great pains to tell us
the film employs the special effects creator of Jeepers
Creepers. Much as he may be a talent, you get the feeling
this is an unnecessary grasp for a publicity selling-point.
Learn to ignore these signs, because even big name actors
can and often do appear in bad films.
this film on its own merits, and enjoy the first half, before
it gets silly. There's little or no tension in the entire
82 minute duration, and this is helped little by the stereotypical
clichéd dialogue which pops up from cover to catch
you unawares and remind you that what you are watching never
reaches above average. Make certain you act surprised when
the main doctor is revealed to be the leader of the cult.
Oops, I let the cat out of the bag; you would never have guessed