More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.76%
Worth A Look: 11.76%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 5 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Bacurau by Jay Seaver

Whistlers, The by Jay Seaver

Fly Me to the Saitama by Jay Seaver

Fantastic Fungi by Jay Seaver

Ode to Nothing by Jay Seaver

Dance with Me by Jay Seaver

Purity of Vengeance (Journal 64), The by Jay Seaver

Cencoroll Connect by Jay Seaver

8 by Jay Seaver

Incredible Shrinking Wknd, The by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Subject Two
[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"First, do no harm. Second, if you do harm, resurrect him afterward."
3 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2006 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: I can almost recommend "Subject Two" as an introspective take on medical ethics and the doctor-patient relationship, set against the background of a modern-day Frankenstein story. It's almost a good movie in that context.

In fact, though it moves perhaps too slowly and quietly, the film, shot on digital video and boasting a very bright, sharp color palette, has a certain magnetism to it. With only two central characters and a remote setting atop a snowy mountain in Colorado, it reads like a small chamber piece -- except that in this case, one of the characters is constantly killing and resurrecting the other.

Adam Schmidt (Christian Oliver) is a medical student who is invited by a mysterious doctor to participate in a study. The doctor, Franklin Vick (Dean Stapleton), knows that Adam is frustrated by the medical world's views on ethics -- he'd like a little more leeway -- and that this makes him a perfect candidate for his, Dr. Vick's, experiments, which certainly push the limits of ethical behavior.

To wit: Vick is looking for immortality, for the ultimate victory over death. Having failed with his first test subject, he dubs Adam "Subject Two" and commences killing him and bringing him back to life, again and again. Each time brings about changes in Adam's mental and physical abilities (as well as side effects), and the doctor believes he is getting closer to creating an indestructible man.

A faint sadomasochistic streak runs through the men's relationship, with Vick exercising ultimate control over his patient and the patient seeming to enjoy the experiments, at one point ASKING to be killed. They work in utter isolation in a snowbound cabin, both of them medical scientists, yet never living as equals. That imbalanced relationship gives the film, written and directed by Philip Chidel, some of its latent creepiness.

It is not, ultimately, a horror film, though it has some horror elements. It's more a psychological science-based thriller, something akin to 2004's "Primer." The plot's surprises aren't the focus, though they do exist; it's the overall story and its implications that Chidel wants us to consider. I think he's onto something. This one isn't bad, but I bet his next film is better.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 02/22/06 09:12:31
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 San Francisco Independent Film Festival For more in the 2006 San Francisco Independent Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantasia Film Festival For more in the 2006 Fantasia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/29/06 Caig Smith Interesting concept that couls have explored more. A little to slow and emotionally unrewa 4 stars
9/05/06 Nevada Bob On that budget? A masterpiece! 5 stars
9/04/06 Indrid Cold Mildly interesting and original. The whole thing feels and looks cheap though. 3 stars
1/26/06 Don Meredoy Awesome! Beautiful and chilling. Moving! 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  DVD: 18-Jul-2006



Directed by
  Philip Chidel

Written by
  Philip Chidel

  Christian Oliver
  Dean Stapleton
  Courtney Mace
  Jurgen Jones

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast