In a small and dimly lit mental health facility in Australia, Dr Sebastian (Charles Dance) conducts experiments on patients that some would term ‘experimental’, while friends and relatives of the patients would call ‘abhorrent’ and the law would call ‘evidence’. Only the comatose and catatonic patients are in no position to argue, and the nurses are either too busy assisting, or too frightened to lodge a complaint.
One repeated target of these tests is Patrick, a strong young man who has been in a coma for many years. New nurse Cathy finds Patrick fascinating. She swears that he has awareness of his surroundings and is trying to communicate. Sebastian and stern Matron Cassidy (Rachel Griffiths) tell her it is merely spasms and innate reflex, and order her not to be so silly.
Now get back to ignoring the miscarriage of medicine going on around you daily.
Of course a film about a guy lying motionless for 90 minutes is dull, so Patrick and Cathy do eventually get to some communicating… of sorts. And from this point the action arrives thick and fast, but unfortunately in a mix of lame dream scares (about 142 of them) and developments so ridiculous that they beggar belief (over 200 of these).
Patrick is alternately dull and baffling, and the longer it goes the sillier it gets. Not since Jay-Z has someone with so little personality and ability had so much influence over others.
Poor Charles Dance, being killed on the toilet must have been more fun than this. Poor Rachel Griffiths, playing a character who must back the evil Dr Sebastian to the hilt in the face of all common sense. Poor Patrick, the original film from 1978, long since forgotten, and dragged from its three plus decade coma to find that it was built from material that would be better off dead.
I never saw the original Patrick, nothing in this film can motivate me to go find it.
Final Rating – 5.5 / 10. Patrick will make you wish you were the one in the coma – at least until this painful 90 minutes has passed.