It’s really hard to do a “psychological thriller” right these days. Everything just seems so recycled and ridiculous that nothing about these movies screams psychological or thrilling. The latest in this genre is “Pathology” starring “Heroes” lead Milo Ventimiglia and penned by the creators of the film “Crank.” While “Pathology” is nothing new in the genre it’s by far better than I expected and probably the goriest movie to come out.
Ted Grey (Ventimiglia) has moved to a prestigious hospital to join the pathology program. His job deals with performing autopsies and finding out how people die. As he attempts to carve a life in the hospital he gets roped into a perverse game with his fellow doctors. The doctors kill random people and all try to find out how the death was achieved. Ted falls further and further into the whole deal until he attempts to get out.
The first thing that will determine whether you love or hate this movie is if you can handle the gore factor. This isn’t typical slasher blood and guts fare, this is all highly realistic medical gore. If you’re not a fan of watching autopsies, brains being held or ribs being cracked then do not watch this. For me I was shocked yet oddly fascinated in watching “Pathology” because director Marc Schoelermann pulls no punches. He’s gonna show you all the gory details and then some. What raises this above are that the gross-out factor is really used to make the setting realistic. There isn’t a procedure that shown that is not necessary to further the plot. The first half of the movie where Ted gets involved in work and slowly falls into the death game with his friends is incredibly tight and concise and keeps you gripped. The main characters consisting of Grey, Dr. Jake Gallo (Michael Weston) and Juliette Bath (Lauren Lee Smith) are all enjoyable for their various storylines and I did enjoy each character for different reasons. This movie is by far a solid B-type film and doesn’t try to make itself Oscar fodder, it’s just a thriller that makes you squeamish and I thoroughly liked what I saw, the ending is probably the most shocking ending I’ve seen in a movie like this and it will definitely take your breath away.
The second half is just a mess. When Grey’s fiancée Gwen, played by Alyssa Milano, shows up it just delves into a weird obsession thriller that came out of nowhere. The plot involving the game slowly is thrown to the wayside and I really missed it. They bring it back briefly in the end but I just wasn’t as connected as in the beginning. While I did enjoy the three main characters mentioned above there are at least 3 other characters that are just thrown away as the story goes on. I would have enjoyed more of seeing the rest of the doctors in on the game working together more often instead of scattering to the breeze.
The acting in this is pretty tight throughout except for some characters. Milo Ventimiglia continues to show that he’s good in these types of strong roles. His character is no Leonardo DiCaprio but he’s consistent and a good leading man. The surprise role comes in actor Michael Weston as the villain Dr. Gallo. Gallo is a great movie villain and it’s obvious that Weston is having fun with the role. I loved him in Zach Braff’s two movies “Garden State” and “The Last Kiss” where he played more love-sick and sensitive characters but I loved even more his transformation into a horrific serial killer. I’m hoping Weston can be in more movies later on. Lauren Lee Smith also does a fine job as the obsessive Juliette Bath. She’s a great manipulative, jealous girlfriend and definite eye candy for the men. The weakest link comes from Alyssa Milano as Grey’s fiancée. She’s hardly in the movie and every time she arrives she either looks like she’s reading off a cue card or really doesn’t know her role.
Overall I enjoyed “Pathology” way more than I expected. If you’re a fan of medical horror and a tight story definitely see this. I give it a 3.5/5.