Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Isolation (2011)

The field of medicine is not fun. If you're looking at big money, you're also looking at doubling your school years, being in debt up to your eyeballs, giving up years of sleep, not seeing your family and friends, and watching people die in front of you despite of everything you do.

I've seen it from the inside and the outside - I worked for a rural ambulance service for years and served months in the hospital going for my Paramedic certification. When you work in rural areas, the mortality rate is considerably higher - not because the EMT/Paramedics are not as well trained, but because of the response and transport times. There is what is called the 'golden hour', the best time for a patient to receive help. That hour really doesn't exist in rural areas. 

Where I lived, it was five minutes to reach the ambulance (all were volunteers like in many rural areas and so responded from home), and depending where the patient lived, up to a half hour to reach them. From there it was treat and package as fast as possible because, unless you could get a helicopter to take them to a trauma hospital in 40 minutes (20 minutes for them to arrive and 20 minutes back) the patient sometimes had an ambulance ride of up to 2 hours. That's... not good.

I've been long winded again but my point is that even when you have everything going right (you think), mistakes can be made. Or, because of the response time, chances were much higher you were going to see your patient die anyway. Heart attack? Futile. Car accident? Nasty. Everything else? A grab bag. Responding to one already dead actually wasn't as bad as having one that you knew you couldn't help. I'm not going into gory details, but burns, injuries, embolisms and heart attacks made our hearts leap into our mouths because, with family members and others gathered all around, we were looked to with hope to keep that person alive and it just wasn't possible most of the time.

That being said, I understand the human side of medicine. I also understand those in the profession who have chosen to deal with those particular issues by, well let's face it, not giving a damn. You've run into a doctor or two with that exact attitude I'm sure. A main problem is a doctor is paid to treat, not heal. The more treatment, the more money they can make. In fact a study has shown that it is in the doctor's best interest to make a lot of mistakes - they get paid a whole hell of a lot more. 

I understand that this is why there is a proposal to make a 'list' of a doctor's record - how good he is, how many complaints against him he has, etc. It reminds me of Angie's List. I don't know if this is a regional thing, but Angie's List is a service you can consult that has businesses you may need to hire along with reviews from others who have used that business. It's supposed to help you avoid those 'paid a fortune and they still didn't fix it' kind of situations. Sounds reasonable to me.


Sorry. This was actually pretty solidly done, although it falls apart in the end. Amy, a medical student herself, wakes up in an isolation ward extremely ill, having no memory of how she got there. She tries to find out but she's so weak she can't even walk across the room much less get to someone to help her. Because although there is the usual button to summon someone for assistance, no one ever comes. Whenever she attempts to ask the doctor questions, he either ignores her or asks HER questions. Sound familiar?

The setup and premise were pretty easy for me to figure out from the beginning - this was going to be a revenge movie. I mean, she's a medical student and all of a sudden she's in isolation? Especially when she manages to make it to a window and sees in the next room another medical student she knows. Okay, something happened and they're going to pay for it - that I got. The why and how comes a bit slowly. Tension definitely builds, but the payoff finally gets there as you are told the whole backstory of how this all came to be. Which made sense. 

In short, Amy, her father and the other student were working in the ER and had a woman from an auto accident who died on their table - the woman was pregnant and they didn't read that on her chart and so missed a major hemorrhage and she died. A court absolved them of all responsibility when they lawyered up and all claimed they did everything they could. In other words, they lied. Big surprise. So all three of them have been guests in a makeshift 'hospital' in a building besides the grieving husband's house. Of the three, Amy survives.

But the ending - well, that kind of stunk. While Amy admits responsibility, it really isn't enough for the man who lost two loved ones - but of course she escapes. She accidentally kills the man's son while trying to get away. The father catches her and injects her with a paralytic. When she wakes up, she's been buried alive - with a video camera. Seems the father wants to see her final moments. Ick. The last scene is of him having breakfast in a cafe. He instructs the waitress to put his wife and son's favorite foods at the places they would be sitting if they were there. Umm... and it ends. Flat as the pancake on the table.

Oh well, overall it was a solid movie and worth watching once. And if you thought I rambled on too long, don't worry - you're not paying by the word, are you?