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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Review: Antidote

Director: Peter Daskaloff

Screenplay: Peter Daskaloff and Matthew Toronto

Year: 2021

Sharyn goes to a hospital by emergency after experiencing strong abdominal pain, where the doctors determine she must go under surgery. After the procedure, Sharyn wakes up in an underground medical facility where an antidote that quickly heals people is being developed. The patients in this facility are constantly mutilated to test the effectiveness of the antidote, and escape seems impossible.

Waking up in an unknown place that looks suspicious after a relatively simple surgery has to be terrifying. This is the nightmarish situation to which Sharyn wakes up, where questions flood her head, but those that resound are “where am I?” and “what am I doing here?”. It turns out that the answer to these questions is not that simple.

As if the place wasn’t sinister enough, Dr. Hellenbach makes an appearance, who has a worryingly chill and polite temperament, and from whom we grow suspicious of since the first moment. Soon we discover that some patients have been chosen to test a new antidote to heal wounds, and all are constantly mutilated to test its effectiveness, for which Dr. Hellenbach is one of the perpetrators. The curious thing is that all of the patients have some wrong-doing in their past that makes them deserving of such vile punishment.

As expected, Sharyn tries to escape the place to no avail. In this attempt to escape, we see some more of the atrocities that take place in the facility. People being burned, stabbed, and dismembered, we see a bit of everything and, although not much makes it onto the screen, what does is of great quality. On the other hand, not all practical effects enjoy the same quality as some seem to have been achieved with makeup from a costume store, and the CGI is downright shameful.

After this first try at escaping, there come another, and another, and another. The problem is that they are all too similar, where Sharyn slithers through the identical hallways uncovering secrets from the place and not much more. This problem falls into Peter Daskaloff and Matthew Toronto’s script, which also suffers from not knowing how to properly keep its secret for which its final twist depends upon, which you start having an idea about since early in the movie and which is not as effective as intended.

“Antidote” uses a not too novel idea combined with a script that doesn't know how to use its potential and ends up being a generic movie, that although it is enjoyable, you can't expect too much from it. It flirts with gore and presents some painful images, but it doesn't surprise in this aspect either. The plot becomes repetitive after a while, and you can suspect what the final twist will be from early on, which becomes ineffective.

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