Double Blind Review - 4/5 Star...

Movies & TV

Double Blind Review - 4/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Conor Finn
Conor Finn

01:35 12 Feb 2024

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When an experimental drug trial goes horribly wrong, seven young test subjects must face the terrifying side effect of the drug – if you fall asleep you die. Trapped in an isolated medical facility, they must find a way to escape, and somehow manage to stay awake.
A first feature from director Ian Hunt-Duffy, who’ short film, the nerve shredding ‘Gridlock’ hinted at the promise he has seamlessly carried over to ‘Double Blind’.
While the premise will invoke everything from ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ to ‘Resident Evil’ Hunt-Duffy deftly skirts the line between homage and plagiarism to deliver something that is undeniably his. Slowly building a sense of unease both within the group and the audience with a wonderfully subtle use of sound and effects that, like the protagonists themselves, will leave you questioning if what you are seeing is real or not. It is such a wonderfully immersive horror film, that I found myself physically wilting and yawning (for all the right reasons) as the film progressed.
What escalates ‘Double Blind’ above similar genre entries, is its tight script and talented believable cast. The characters each present varying levels of the drug. From laid back Marcus (Frank Blake) all the way to twitching psychopath Ray, played with unsettling menace by Diarmuid Noyes. ‘Walking Dead’s’ Pollyanna McIntosh leans into her physicality as the doctor that may as well have “Wrong un” stamped on her jacket (or should she?). Millie Brady heads the cast as Claire whose isolated desperation gives way to de facto leader of the group as distrust begins to infect her fellow guinea pigs.
The tribalism is realistically handled with McGarrigles script not allowing any illusion breaking reprieves. Everything about Double Blind keeps you on the back foot, right down to its end credits, which shift in and out of focus. It keeps a sense of disorientation from its first frame to its last.
The film looks incredible, putting to shame some of the recent blockbusters who have infinitely more money to play with. It’s cold, clinical sense of normality adds to the unease as the lack of sleep ramps up the paranoia and ultimately violence. It is a confident, gripping debut from Hunt-Duffy. ‘Double Blind’, like all good horror. Is one that is open to interpretation. It touches on everything from distrust of Big Pharma, fake news and the housing crisis. More importantly for a horror film, it will scare the life out of you. It is intoxicating, terrifying and at times a thoughtful thriller. Quite simply, the best Irish Horror movie in years.
4 Stars
Andy McCarroll

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