I’m gotta admit that sadly I never saw Richard Franklin’s 1978 version of "Patrick." I am a fan of Franklin’s work for sure ("Road Games" and "Psycho II" rule!) and I’m very aware of the iconic creepy-eyed look of Robert Thompson’s comatose evil Patrick for sure. But having not seen the original I was able to go into the remake entitled "Patrick: Evil Awakens" with a fresh perspective and also having no expectations. Question is did it help? Not in the slightest.
After being hired at a private remote clinic following the disappearance of a former nurse, newbie Kathy is a bit weary of her new surroundings and everyone in it. The head doctor seems intense and brooding, her nurse superior is creepy and stern and the patients are comatose folks that add an air of uncomfortable. One patient in particular named Patrick catches the eye of Kathy and through some very lethal experiments by the local doctor she finds herself communicating with the seemingly sweet patient. But the obsessive and dangerous telepathic nature of Patrick soon comes to the surface and Kathy soon finds herself fighting to stay alive.
I think if "Patrick: Evil Awakens" was fashioned more like a drama perhaps the review here could have been more positive. There is a fascinatingly notable cast of side characters here including Charles Dance as the focused doctor, Rachel Griffiths as his eerie nurse sister and You’re Next tough woman Sharni Vinson as the object of Patrick’s obsession. But all is for not as not only are none of the above characters fully realized, but the flick itself just isn’t scary. Chock it up to the myriad of useless jump scares, cheap sight gags or the overall uneven tone, but in the end it’s all due to Patrick himself. Like a buff and chiseled specimen right out of the Baywatch universe, Jackson Gallager’s Patrick has no oddness or impending menace about him at all. So what’s left is a series of CGI blood-in-eye effects that are used to overcompensate for the fact that Patrick here just isn’t scary character – not great for a titular character of a horror film.
Look, things could be worse had the supporting cast not been so decent, but the film is called Patrick for god’s sake. Perceived horror is much more deep and dark then what we see in plain sight, but there still has to be a feeling of peril and dread. Minus the scary and strange needed to make the character and overall film work, this Patrick is like a cute and cuddly corpse who is pretending to be a bad guy.