Double Blind Movie Review

Written by Kat Albrecht

Released by Epic Pictures Group

double blind poster large

Directed by Ian Hunt-Duffy
Written by Darach McGarrigle
2023, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Released on February 9th, 2024

Starring:
Mille Brady as Claire
Pollyanna McIntosh as Dr. Burke
Akshay Kumar as Amir

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Review:

As soon as I saw the premise of Double Blind – test subjects in an experimental drug trial will die if they fall asleep – I knew I had to test it. For science.

One night, after a long day of travel and a longer evening of work at my day job, the conditions were perfect. I was completely exhausted and settled in to find out if I would be the next causality in Double Blind’s sadistic sleep study. I’m happy to report I was wide awake the entire time.

Double Blind follows the journey of Claire (Milly Brandy) and her fellow misfit test subjects who undertake a clinical trial for a drug that soon proves disastrous for their brain function. For the 90-minute runtime, our cast of characters tries desperately to stay awake lest their brains explode into bloody goo. Happily, despite being contained in a secure facility, there is no shortage of horror and drama to befall our unlikely cohort.

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Overall, director Ian Hunt-Duffy delivers a welcome surprise. The tight runtime keeps the film alive and fast paced, a nice juxtaposition to the plot, where the minutes dragged back for the test subjects. The character development is enough to create realistic characters with side goals and flaws, but not so substantial it distracts from the mainline crisis.

The set dressing is objectively beautiful, delivering a slightly liminal space that is both clinical and foreboding. The ever-present countdown clock keeps the audience and the characters grounded even as their grip on reality wanes.

The film expertly uses flashbacks and hypnagogic hallucinations (those real-seeming visions you get as you fall asleep) to introduce some strong horror elements without breaking the active narrative.

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Lead actress Milly Brandy is a standout in her ability to emote through a veil of exhaustion and sparse dialogue as the troubled Claire. Akshay Kumar, who plays eager-to-please medical student Amir, does an excellent job building a character arc deserving of its own film. Finally, Pollyanna McIntosh as study leader Dr. Burke was such a tour de force that I found myself texting my editor that this was really a bit scary, actually. You’ll know exactly which part I mean when you watch it.

My only critiques comes at the end, where the final sequence is unnecessary and the character closure not entirely satisfying. Sometimes when a film is really well composed, there’s just no need to tie everything together in a neat little bow.

Double Blind is a well-designed, well-acted, and intriguing film. It’s a great watch for horror fans, and also for folks with interests in science fiction and thrillers – as long as they can handle a little bit of a scare.

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Grades:

Movie: 4 Star Rating Cover
Cover

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Kat Albrecht
Staff Reviewer
Kat Albrecht is a legally trained sociologist and computational social scientist studying how complex data can inform policy, with particular emphasis on the nexus of fear, criminal data, and the law. In other words, she’s a college professor who studies horror films sometimes. Her research specialties are practical special effects, creature features, and arguing about the meaning of genre. Kat will gleefully review any film that takes place in the ocean or in outer space and exclusively paints portraits of herself.
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