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Inoperable (2017) - Movie Review

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Inoperable (2017) - Movie Review

4 stars

Whatever you do, do not die in this hospital.  A place of healing it is not.  Full of bizarre doctors with too much time on their hands to experiment on their patients, this is absolutely not a place you want to be a patient of for very long.  Some people don’t have a choice, though, and repeatedly wake up discovering that they are trapped in a time loop of terror.

Danielle Harris is back!  The never-aging Scream Queen, star of Halloween 4Halloween 5Rob Zombie’s HalloweenRob Zombie’s H2Hatchet 2, Hatchet 3See No Evil 2 and Stakeland, returns to the hallowed halls of horror after nearly a four-year-break to star in writer/director/producer Christopher Lawrence Chapman’s Inoperable.  And what a return it is!  Combining a Groundhog Day-like scenario with a gnarly hospital where human flesh and brains are removed courtesy of a cheese grater, Inoperable packs one hell of a harsh gut punch, leaving a lasting impression.

Something experimental is happening at Fort Miller.  And the approaching hurricane isn’t helping matters.  Skies are darkening.  People are clearing out.   Roads are jammed with cars.  For three people – Amy Barrett (Harris), Jen (Katie Keene), and a cop named Ryan (Jeff Denton) – the oncoming storm, after mowing down Fort Miller, has apparently wreaked havoc upon linear experiences of time.

Amy, after suffering a panic attack in the crawling traffic away from the hurricane’s path, finds herself in a nearly abandoned hospital.  When no one answers her cries for help, she begins to wander on her own and, after suffering another fateful panic attack, wakes up back in her car.  Traffic.  Another moment later, she is back in her hospital bed and repeats her movements.

Each time she “resets” her particular time loop, she learns a bit more about the hospital and the souls trapped within.  This is a torturous place.  Humans are zapped with electricity, sliced and diced, and treated like flesh factories.  Even the resident priest seems in on it.  No place is safe here and so, the three people who recognize each other in their own particular time loops, have to figure out how to escape this place.

And they are convinced it is due to the hurricane.   

Inoperable's winding mystery leaves you consistently engaged and it is aided by the best use of a location by a horror film in recent memory.  The hospital is cold and decrypted and - while the camera zooms backwards as the actors dodge and weave their way through the abandoned halls ducking one nurse after another – is constantly maze-like, mirroring the script which, upon its conclusion, gives us an unforgettable ending.  This hospital is a puzzle in and of itself that only adds to the tension as more clues are given to us about the situation.

Effective and exciting, Inoperable is a clear winner for fans of horror thrillers AND for fans of Harris herself, who turns in a solid performance as she navigates the bizarre time jump from the driver’s seat of her classic Corvette Stingray to the winding hospital corridors.  While not every performance in this B-movie works, there’s enough good things going on to give the amateurs a pass.  

This is one hell of a low budget flick that rises above its budgetary restrictions.  From beginning to end, the film’s total engagement makes for a memorably haunting experience of spine-tingling terror.  The script, co-written by Jeff Miller, is dark and smartly written as it guides viewers through a journey where mental notes must be taken in order to fully understand its structure.  The movie wisely keeps its card close to its chest, never revealing what its true intentions are, and, as it races toward a most unforgettable ending, it rewards the observant viewer before pulling the rug from beneath all everyone's feet.

Welcome to Bay Center.  We hope you enjoy your stay … and your surgical procedure.  Inoperable, distributed by Zorya Films and Millman Productions, opens theatrically in select cities on December 1st of this year.  It will be playing for one week.  Catch it before it is gone.

Inoperable (2017) - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
98 mins
: Christopher Lawrence Chapman
Christopher Lawrence Chapman
Danielle Harris, Katie Keene, Isabella Sofia Menna
: Horror
Tagline: In this hospital, the patients never leave
Memorable Movie Quote: "Are we supposed to be evacuating?"
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 11, 2016
Synopsis: A young woman wakes up in an abandoned hospital with a hurricane approaching that has awakened malevolent forces. She realizes that she is trapped in a time loop and must escape the hospital before the storm passes, or she will be trapped there forever.

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Inoperable (2017) - Movie Review

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