I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much going into this film. I hadn’t heard anything about it and the cover of the DVD, reminiscent of INSIDE, didn’t seem like it was very inspired. So color me shocked when I witnessed a really engrossing thriller unfold before me with not only a gripping premise, but fantastic performances to boot. THE CLINIC is one of those under-the-radar films you’re sure to stumble across on cable and wonder why you hadn’t heard of it before. Well, consider yourself warned because THE CLINIC is a film in need of being seen.
Cameron (SPARTACUS’ Andy Whitfield) and Beth (Tabrett Bethell) look to be a perfect couple, about to be married and expecting their first baby. When their car is run off the road by a frantic trucker, they decide to call it a night and find the nearest motel. When Cameron decides to go out for a midnight snack, he returns to find his wife missing. Beth wakes up in a tub of ice with a scar on her belly and her baby missing. One would think, given Whitfield’s star status from SPARTACUS, he’d be given the brunt of the action, but it’s Beth who has the most interesting arc here as she desperately searches for her baby. Encountering a pair of other mothers with similar scars, Beth finds her baby along with the others locked in cages. What unfolds is a twisted reality contest. Each baby has a colored tag. Sewn inside of each mother is a tag matching the one on one of the babies’ foot. And there’s a mother out there who is willing to slice open the rest of the mothers to find out which baby is hers.
With a mother stalking the rest, all of the mothers’ maternal instincts kick in to fight for their babies lives. What I thought would be a by the numbers medical thriller turned out to be so much more. I won’t reveal anything else, but THE CLINIC pulls no punches and offers up characters you actually care for. Writer/director James Babbitts shows skill with the camera with gritty scenes of action along with surreal and unsettling fever dreams of the mother of a baby in a pool of blood. Not to be missed, THE CLINIC is so much more than one would expect.