“I have to marry a woman”
A Christmas day review, yes I’m bored. I have been watching a lot of Asian horrors recently & still have a few to watch so the site will have a heavy Asian bias for a while. Today’s review is yet another Taiwanese horror, Sick Nurses. This movie is often criticised but in my opinion is nowhere near as bad as some would have you believe.
The plot of Sick Nurses is pretty straight forward. Dr Tar works in a Bangkok hospital, along with seven nurses he is selling dead bodies on the black market. One of the nurses Tahwaan is in love with Dr Tar & believes he will marry her. She finds out her own sister Nook has been having an affair with Dr Tar & is pregnant by him & they plan to marry. Feeling betrayed Tahwaan threatens to call the police, before she can act she is captured by Dr Tar & the other six nurses & murdered. Her body is then placed on ice in the boot of Dr Tar’s car to be sold. According to Taiwanese folklore a spirit may return seven days after death & Tahwaan does exactly this to seek vengeance on her killers.
Sick Nurses does not set out to be high art or a nerve shredding creepfest. It is in essence part ghost story & part slasher. Tahwaan’s ghost is similar in style to the kind of apparition that can be seen in films like Ringu or Ju-on, but is much more prominent. Tahwaan’s ghost uses some inventive & gory ways to dispatch her killers including possession & it is here that the movie drifts into slasher territory as the nurses & haunted & killed one by one. It is these death scenes where the movie is at its best. Using both traditional ghost scares & some strong scenes of bloodshed & gore. The deaths are well staged & thought out. From the handbag decapitation to the movies standout scene where one of the nurses is forced to chew glass until she shreds her lower jaw off. The movie also ends with quite an interesting twist, one I certainly didn’t see coming. Having praised the movie so far it is not without its downsides. Ok let’s be honest here, this movie has a group of good-looking young Taiwanese actresses in tight-fitting nurses uniforms. While the movie attempts to cash in on this at the beginning, it seems to lose its nerve. Yes there are scenes of the nurses dancing round in shorts & whatever but no nudity. Now let me add I am not someone who needs nudity in my films, but if you are going to film a shower scene, either film it from the shoulders up or have the person naked. In Sick Nurses one of the nurses showers fully clothed, please! It just looks stupid. The movie needed to either to make the most of its good-looking cast or avoid that kind of thing all together. The other problem with the movie echoes the first flaw. The film doesn’t really know what it wants to be. As a ghost story it fails to illicit any real jumps or scares & as a slasher it is average at best. Directors Pirapan Laoyont & Thodsapol Siriwiwat would have been better served making either a full on ghost story or a mean-spirited slasher, not a mixture of the two.
When all is said & done Sick Nurses is an ok movie, certainly worth a watch as it will entertain for an hour & a half, just don’t expect too much. If you want a creepy, scary movie, watch the amazing Shutter instead. If you want a slasher try Invitation Only. Having said that if you get the chance, ignore the haters & give Sick Nurses a try.