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Fear Clinic (Blu-ray Review)

Fear ClinicWith blood-chilling special effects by award-winning FX creators Robert Kurtzman and Steve Johnson, Fear Clinic will take viewers on an unforgettable journey into the very soul of terror itself.  Co-written by Hall and Aaron Drane, the film is based on the critically acclaimed and fan favorite 2009 FEARnet.com series. When trauma-induced phobias begin to re-emerge in five survivors a year after their horrifying tragedy, they return to the “Fear Clinic,” hoping to find the answers they need to get cured.  The film stars Robert Englund, Fiona Dourif, Thomas Dekker and Slipknot front man Corey Taylor.

Fear Clinic 1

Film 

Dr. Andover (Robert Englund), a fear doctor who runs the clinic, uses his “Fear Chamber” to animate their fears in the form of terrifying hallucinations. However, the good doctor soon begins to suspect that something more sinister may be at work, something that yearns to be more than just an hallucination…

Had Robert Englund not been involved with Fear Clinic, I probably would have had no interest in it.  And without Robert Englund, this movie may not have been fully worth any time.  The man sure classes up the joint with his presence here.  No matter the film, he gives us his all, and takes his part and the script seriously.  In short, his gravitas makes it work better than it probably should have been.

I’m not familiar with the web series that this is following, but I can see the appeal of it in a more scattered and short form.  This film I found a little bit difficult to follow, but I don’t know if that was by its own design or it was just sort of sloppily put together.  There is the semblance of a nice idea here but I’m not sure if it is executed well.  This comes from the director of the Laid To Rest series, which are somewhat entertaining, but do excel in make-up and gore effects.  And that’s pretty much the case here.

This is only the second film I’ve seen her in, but Fiona Dourif is working her way to becoming a favorite of mine.  She’s got some good chops and is able to stand tall above most of her cast mates and trade blows with Englund.  I’d like to see her supporting in something more higher profile if that comes along to see how she’d really fit in.  Here she’s given Thomas Dekker and the lead singer of Slipknot to work with, so not really much.

Fear Clinic is a step above something like a SyFy Channel movie, but not too far beyond that.  There are some cool effects and an a neat idea at its core.  But what it ends up leading to is a pretty big mess that I’m not sure makes a whole lot of sense.  Englund and Dourif both shine, but I wish it was for a better film.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail:  This is a brand new digital feature and coming from Anchor Bay.  So we know its top notch.  Detail is very high and well documented in pretty much every frame.  The image is sharp and full in appearance.  Every fabric and surface texture finds any spec of dust or imperfection along your monitor.

Depth:  Everything is very clean between background and foreground.  Motion is clear and crisp with each object looking good in its own space.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rich and provide nice shading work to further detail an environment or object onscreen.  No real detail lost at all.

Color Reproduction:  Vibrant and full colors on display.  There’s a nice palette or very “horror” friendly colors that produce a good colorful image.

Flesh Tones:  Consistent and natural.  There are some scenes with whiter filters and Surge bottle green filters, but the tones keep up nicely.  Detail is extremely high on the skin, no matter the shot distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics:  A nice distinct and rich 5.1 track.  Viewers won’t find it hard to immerse themselves in this loud and lively TrueHD track.  Everything in it feels loose, loud and distinct.  There is a great balance of score, voice and effect with each one able to take center stage and entertain at the right time.

Low Frequency Extension: The diner shootout benefits most from the subwoofer.  The gunfire is loud and startling, especially when connected with lights being shot out.  There are plenty of good jump moments and the sub is very active in enhancing the experience of the film.

Surround Sound Presentation: Plenty of varied and creepy ambiance keep the clinic a scary place to be in.  The front speakers have plenty of accurate detail in bringing what’s on screen to life.  Its a an overall great presentation for a horror film.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Clean and clear, even if the plot of the movie isn’t totally.

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Extras 

Fear Clinic: Behind The Scenes (HD, 11:51) – This starts as a bit about where the web series and movie set up and then turns to actor by actor discussing their characters.

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Summary 

Fear Clinic is a below average original horror film spun out of a FearNet (RIP) web series that came out in 2009.  What isn’t below average is its presentation on this Blu-ray.  It looks and sounds outstanding.  The bonus feature is just a bit of a generic Making Of, but its something extra.   I definitely recommend this as a rental if you’re looking for something new in the horror realm or a big Robert Englund fan.  Slipknot fans…I guess this is a must.

Fear Clinic Blu-ray

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

3 Responses to “Fear Clinic (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    So not a good outing for Corey then?

  2. Brandon Peters

    His mustache looked nice

  3. Brian White

    Say whaat?! No mask? No cool tatts?