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Patrick

Patrick (1978) Movie Poster
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  •  Australia  •    •  112m  •    •  Directed by: Richard Franklin.  •  Starring: Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Rod Mullinar, Bruce Barry, Julia Blake, Helen Hemingway, María Mercedes, Walter Pym, Frank Wilson, Carole-Ann Aylett, Paul Young, Marilyn Rodgers, Peggy Nichols.  •  Music by: Goblin, Brian May.
        After the shocking bathtub death of his mother and her lover, the sinister Patrick lays comatose in a small private hospital, his only action being his involuntary spitting. When a pretty young nurse, just separated from her husband, begins work at the hospital, she senses that Patrick is communicating with her, and he seems to be using his psychic powers to manipulate events in her life.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 2:58
 
 
 1:54
 
 

Review:

Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Image from: Patrick (1978)
Patrick is a very underappreciated and often overlooked thriller from "Down Under". Yet, it's very intense and solid and - above all - pretty well made. I think it's one of those examples that proves you don't necessarily have to dispose of a huge budget to make an interesting movie. Just a solid plot idea and a lot of creativity will get the job done. Patrick was directed by someone named Richard Franklin. That name immediately rang a bell inside my head and I checked out his name as soon as I finished watching Patrick. Turns out this was the same guy who directed Psycho 2 and, suddenly, a whole lot of things got clarified. When you're watching Patrick, you don't have to be a detective to notice Franklin has got a huge Alfred Hitchkock fetish. Many references and tributes are made to "The Master of Suspense". It somehow gives an extra value to this movie, I think. ( By the way, I thought Psycho II was a very decent movie as well and a worthy sequel to Hitchkock's masterpiece )

**** SPOILERS **** At the age of 21, Patrick kills his mother and her lover. For a never fully explained reason, he got into a coma afterwards and stays in a private hospital ever since. He's kept alive by machines but they're keeping him alive, hoping to solve the mystery of live and death. He's being watched 24/7 and a new nurse - a recently separated young woman - succeeds in building up some sort of relationship with him. Over the years, Patrick has developed the sixth sens of psychokineses. While laying in his bed, he terrorizes every man who comes too close to "his" nurse. **** END SPOILERS ****

Patrick doesn't use many special and/or make up effects and when it does, it looks cheap. I'll admit that. But the power of this movie merely is in the slowly built up sequences of terror. For example, the sequence where the electricity is cut off and Patrick slowly turns his head towards the nightshift nurse is a terrific piece of suspense. The creepy atmosphere of the ancient hospital is always hanging around and this effect is even stengthened by the solid musical score. Also, I was very pleasantly surprised by the acting performances in Patrick. Especially Dr. Roget ( Robert Helpmann ) and the head-nurse ( María Mercedes --- nice name by the way ) left quite an impression on me. I even think the leading actress ( Susan Penhaligon ) deserves to be mentioned. I also liked her a lot in Soldaat van Oranje.

And last but certainly not least...Patrick contains a few very funny sequences. Not the ordinary slapstick of course but subtle and twisted humor that not everybody appreciates. Personally, I had a big grin on my face when the head-nurse explained to Kathy what kind of applicants her private hospital attracts ... but I can image not everyone thinks that's funny.

In conclusion...Well done, Australia!! I already knew they have the ability to make great cult films ( ever since I saw "The Cars that Ate Paris" ) and Patrick proves this statement once again. I'm now desperately trying to find the sequel "Patrick Still Lives", even though I have no idea what to expect from that. Anyone here who recommends that one?


Review by dbdumonteil [IMDB 12 February 2004] from the Internet Movie Database.