Hospital (2020) Review

Certificate: 15

Director: Chia-Lin Chu

Screenwriter: Chia-Lin Chu

Starring: Li-chi Hsu, Lei Hung, Samuel Ku

Genre: Horror

Runtime: 89 Minutes

Language: Mandarin

Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

A grieving wife and the sister of a nurse who died under mysterious circumstances, pay two Tao priests to commune with the spirits of their deceased loved ones in a famous haunted hospital. – From IMDB

Do you ever get the feeling that the Characters of the horror film you are watching have never seen a horror film in their lives?  They must not have, otherwise they would never make the slew of ridiculous decisions that they make that get them into the situations that they find themselves in.  The two women in this film, paying to try and communicate with their deceased relatives make bad decision after and decision, that ultimately leads to the audience not caring or empathising with them, because they are such insufferable people. 

And the closer you get to the end, and when we eventually find out why Xiao-Ling Su needs to talk to her husband, the more infuriating the film gets. So she needs to tell him that she is pregnant.  Whish is great and everything, but not only does she risk her life, and her child’s life for the chance to speak to him, but ultimately ends up killing herself and her unborn child in order to do it.  So the happy news is somewhat soured by her bad decision making. 

This storyline also calls into question how long the hospital has actually been closed.  If she was pregnant when her husband went into the hospital, and is now visiting it again after it ahs been closed, and she still isn’t even looking remotely pregnant, how can the hospital be in the state of disarray and disrepair that it is in.  It appears to have been closed for years, but Xiao-Ling Su can’t be more than a few months pregnant.  The story of the other woman, who is trying to communicate with her sister is told in a much more disjointed and dreamlike fashion, and I am not entirely sure I understand what happened to her or her sister, but her disappearance about halfway through the film is never really questioned by the other characters, so as an audience member, I too forgot about her character rather quickly.  Which Is easily done as none of these characters have any kind of backstory or developed personality outside of what is needed to tell this story.

The acting for the most part is average, with some parts leaning heavily into melodramatic or amateur.  None of the actors have a lot of acting experience based on their IMDB page, and their inexperience shows, but everyone has to start somewhere, and I have seen a lot worse acting in low budget horror films than what I saw here.

There are a few decent jump scares and the special effects were pretty good considering the low budget of the film.  It was too dark most of the time to really get a good look at anything, but I suppose that helps to save money on the visual effects and leaves something up to the audiences imagination.

Overall not a total wash out, but Netflix does have a lot better to offer in the horror genre than this.

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