Double Blind Review
In the vast expanse of low to mid budget horror there’s a plethora of bad concept horrors. For every The Platform there’s an Escape Room, for every Get Out there’s a Master and so on. Irish horror is no different in this (see my previous review on The Cellar) where there could be an audience there are opportunistic people willing to cash in, this brings me to the subject of today’s subject Double Blind.
Looking at the movie from the outside you would think this is another cheap cash grab at making something like The Thing or even 10 Cloverfield lane. People locked inside an inescapable environment slowly getting bumped off one at a time, a few jump scares and gore then roll credits. And if I just saw a trailer or read a plot synopsis, I’d probably just leave it there and go on with my life…but that didn’t happen so here we are.
Double Blind is about a bunch of drug trial test subjects being locked down in a high security facility whilst also being under the influence of a new drug that will kill them if they fall asleep, fans of the Russian Sleep Experiment creepypasta put your hands up now. Although an interesting concept, so much can go wrong without the right eye to guide it. Gladly I think Double Blind makes it work for the most part.
The production design with its sanitized colour palette really contrast well with the character degradation over time, visually the movie shines at portraying the characters delusions with great mix of lighting, visuals and sound. It does make you crave sleep in the tensest of ways. It gets its levels of gore correct with it not being over the top but also technically proficient enough to have it be horrific and gut wrenching. The soundtrack is clearly influenced by the work of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth works at building atmosphere.
The story is also tense but really never hits the heights that it should. I found it’s plot too predictable, characters not rounded enough where they need to be and although there are good performances in there (Diarmuid Noyes being my highlight of the films much needed comic relief) there is an underwhelming quality in the that department. Millie Brady’s portrayal of the protagonist Charlie is over the top in places where she doesn’t need to and underwhelming when she does, her character is a tad cliche which doesn’t work in her favor here.
I think Double Blind is worth the watch. Issues aside it is competently produced and does have enough scares packed in to keep you on your toes for its 90-minute runtime.
- Directed by: Ian Hunt-Duffy
- Written by: Darach McGarrigle
- Starring: Millie Brady
- Run Time: 1hr and 30min.
- Released: October 27, 2023 (US) | February 9, 2024 (Ireland)
Review by Marcus Rochford.