The Movie Waffler New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - PATIENT 001 | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - PATIENT 001

patient 001 review
Believing him as good as dead, a woman gives birth to a clone of her husband, but trouble rises when her spouse awakens from his coma.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Katie Fleischer

Starring: Rosie Fellner, Michael Hayden, Michael Gill, Noah Fleiss, Steven Ogg, Jason Dietz

patient 001 poster

It’s New Year’s Eve. We’re in a room with a heartbroken wife and her comatose husband.  The tears and champagne are flowing.

"Happy 2000," she wishes him.

Watched on CCTV, she climbs onto her prone husband and proceeds to have sex with him.

"He’s a category one and a goner," say the hospital staff watching the cameras jubilantly from their staff party.

Later, Doctor Jameson (Michel Gill from Mr Robot) looks at a mystery smear under the microscope and remarks to himself, "This looks good; he could be a potential candidate."

patient 001 review

He calls the wife of coma man (Josie and Leo respectively) and offers a revolutionary opportunity - cloning Leo as a baby for her to develop and birth; after all, he isn’t expected to survive much longer in his state and they’ve had no success conceiving naturally.

After the quickest procedure/pregnancy/birth known to film, mum is getting herself a new pixie cut and starting her motherly life with Leo’s mini-me.

But before you can say coma, Leo is out of his.

Trouble in paradise as Leo is tormented by ‘baby kills me’ nightmares, and he and the baby seem to almost repel each other. He is unaware that his son is actually his clone; all he knows is that he can’t stand the kid.

Leo wants his son/clone dead, and takes him away to rid the world of him, much against the doc's pleading for mercy.

23 years later and all is good; both Josie and Leo are established and happy with a healthy sex life and a dog to dote on.

patient 001 review

Things can't stay this idyllic forever of course; Josie hires Eddie, an intriguing local young man, to do some yard work for them, much to the chagrin of Leo, who takes an instant dislike to Eddie.

He may be right to be suspicious as Eddie spends most nights watching the old home movies of Josie and Leo in his camper-van by the sea. What’s his interest in them? And why is he so determined to ingratiate himself into their lives?

Once the truth is revealed it opens an ethical can of worms full of twisty conundrums to ponder and question.

This film for me is a swing and a miss. It’s close to being something really very good, so it's frustrating to say the least that director Katie Fleischer and writer Jason Dietz made the decisions that they did.

It's full of ugly dream-sequences and hallucinations that really don’t add much to the plot, except perhaps to amp the touched-on idea of ‘soul sharing,’ which is frankly a little too silly.

If Fleischer had cut out those bizarre and confusing hallucinations and just played it straight, it would have been much more effective.

patient 001 review

In fact I would re-cut this film in a way that pays attention to the style of a Black Mirror episode, as that is what this reminded me of the most. It could be quite an effective thriller if it was just trimmed of fat and the darkness punched up in the ending.

The acting is decent across the board with Michel Gil and Noah Fleiss as Eddie standouts.

With a little editing this film actually could’ve been quite a tight little chiller with a sting in the tale, and would have made more impact. The attempt to shoehorn in the supernatural horror element with bad CGI unfortunately just poisoned the water.

Patient 001 is on DVD/VOD now.

2019 movie reviews