The debut feature from writer and director Ian Clark The Facility is a stark and shockingly scary film that is as visceral as it is real telling the story of a drug trial gone wrong in the worst way.
Set at the remote Limebrook Medical Clinic, seven strangers all arrive to take part as lab rats for a new drug named Pro9 made by a large pharmaceutical company. Knowing as little about the drug as they do about each other tension is high from the start not helped along by the conflicting characters all thrown together without privacy or access to the outside world.
As seasoned test subject Joni (Descent star Alex Reid) forms a bond with newbie Adam (Aneurin Barnard from Elfie Hopkins) the others in the gang find it harder to gel with the arrogant Jed (Oliver Coleman) winding up worrier Arif (Amit Shah) while the oldest in the gang Morty (the brilliant Steve Evets last seen in the sensational In the Flesh) puts everyone on edge with his stories of trials gone wrong.
At first it seems the only thing troubling the group will be the gripping boredom however as the night sets in and the Pro9 takes hold one of their number starts experiencing some disturbing effects and they are all plunged into a test of fear and survival trapped as much in the hospital as they are in their own bodies all of which are infected.
With a great story and set up straight from the start The Facility grabs the audiences attention and doesn’t let go till the tragic and upsetting end. Clark does a great job slowly building the characters and the claustrophobic tension before plunging everything into chaos and horror midway through.
With its titles setting up the premise and the times, location and character names displayed at the start The Facility aims for realism and a distinct documentary feel without falling into the found footage trap.
The shaky camera work, improvised style of acting and seemingly unrehearsed script heighten this and in tern up the very believable premise pushing the viewer to wonder what they would do in the same situation.
Most experimental and daring of all is Clark’s decision to have no soundtrack on the film. Music is so incidental and familiar to audiences in films that most of the time we don’t even hear it but once it is removed the silence is deafening. This brilliant move that not only adds to the rest of the naturalistic elements but also the fear factor especially in the quiet moments which are even more unnerving and terrifying than they would have been with an accompanying score.
Extremely character driven the truly disturbing thing about The Facility is that the drug turns the collection of characters who we grow to sympathise with and root for against each other making them into killing machines wracked with pain screaming, whimpering and begging while they tear each other apart.
Acting as the antithesis to zombies The Facility’s monsters almost experience too much feeling in their all too human bodies making the heartless and unfeeling journalist Katie (Nia Roberts) and her cold detached documenting and constant photo taking of the suffering seem all the more inhuman than the monsters beating down the doors outside.
A stunning horror debut The Facility delivers on every level from the cast to the camera work offering up a shocking and extremely frightening situation that is made all the more unsettling by its realism.
Win a copy of The Facility right Here!