REVIEW: Antidote (2021)

dir. Peter Daskaloff

Sharyn (Ashlynn Yennie) wakes in agony, her appendix fit to burst, and after being rushed to hospital and anesthetized she finds herself restrained in a dingy complex. Upon meeting Dr. Hellenbach (Louis Mandylor) – a little on the nose if you ask us – she’s told the operation was a success, but contact with her family is out of the question as they must run more tests. Desperate to see her family, Sharyn struggles to adapt to the facility.

As such Yenniem, of The Human Centipede fame, finds herself yet again the victim of medical malpractice as it becomes apparent that the facility houses numerous patients, all of whom have suffered near fatal accidents or ailments, and are routinely mutilated in Hostel-like fashion before seemingly recovering after receiving a miracle cure. Sharyn must therefore confront her past in order to understand why she’s being subjected to these barbaric tests, and find a way to escape the labyrinthine complex.

Daskaloff’s film operates on a small budget but wrestles with big concepts – to mixed effect – the third act exposing the budgetary limitations as it struggles to convincingly portray the director’s vision.

More successfully, the score is pluck-string tinged with a metallic, percussive pulse that adds an industrial grime to the surroundings, ramping up as the unwilling subjects are subjected to some unspeakable experiments.  The gore itself is well executed and will have viewers wincing as they curl their toes.

Part body-horror splatter-fest, whilst also exploring larger themes of existence and mortality, Antidote doesn’t always manage to deliver on its big ideas but remains a gooey, blood-soaked experience.

⭐⭐

Brad Hanson

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