Madhouse (2004) Joshua Leonard, Jordan Ladd, Natasha Lyonne, Lance Henriksen Movie Review

Madhouse (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Joshua Leonard in Madhouse (2004)

A Freak Show

Needing to a few weeks work as an intern before graduating, Clark Stevens (Joshua Leonard) arrives at Cunningham Hall, a mental healthy facility overseen by Dr. Franks (Lance Henriksen). Clark quickly becomes close to resident nurse Sara (Jordan Ladd) who shows him around including down in the restricted are where the most dangerous patients are kept permanently locked up like some sort of freak show. But Clark not only becomes intrigues by one of these patients but also by what appears to be a ghost boy as dark secrets start to reveal themselves.

"Madhouse" is the second movie I have watched today and it is the second movie which as a whole is flawed but features some good ideas. But this leaves me a huge issue because to truly explain the flaws I would have to reveal details which spoil the movie. As such what I will say is as you watch "Madhouse" various things happen; we have Clark's encounters with a ghost boy, his chats with a patient in room 44, various doctor's dying but when it comes to how this ends up playing out they are tenuously tied in to the explanation and gives you a sense that William Butler who wrote and directed "Madhouse" shoe horned some eyes together as the were to good to waste.

And that is very much the thing about "Madhouse" as in parts it works especially when it comes to the visuals. The whole almost freak show set up on the basement where the worst of the worst are kept is clearly the money shot in the movie with plenty of effort taken to deliver visual impact. And elsewhere there are some equally visual shots when it comes to the horrors which have gone on in the facility. But the trouble is that when you decide to concentrate on the story rather than the visual horrors you end up questioning everything right from the word go which sadly spoils the movie.

What this all boils down to is that if you enjoy visual horror over storyline consistency then "Madhouse" has the potential to entertain. But for those who find themselves more interested in storylines the way "Madhouse" plays out and comes together is likely to frustrate.