Trust. It’s a scary thing. Do you trust those you chose to surround yourself with? Do they trust you? Do you trust yourself? In Peter Hurd’s sci-fi/horror film The Control Group, knowing who, how, and when to trust is the difference between life and death. Read on; you might thank me at the end of this review. Trust me.
After being drugged and kidnapped from a party by a group of unknown masked strangers, five college friends wake up in an abandoned asylum, complete with random frozen doorknobs, bleeding walls, and no obvious exits. The group consists of Vanessa (the badass blonde), Jamie (the one who’s “in touch” with the spirit world), Grant (Vanessa’s asshole boyfriend), Corey (the token gay guy), and Jack (the outsider with the most severe trust issues).
Early on, we’re let in on the fact that Jack has only known the others for five days prior, while the others have known each other for years. Regardless of the length of time they’ve known each other, they all seem to have issues with trusting each other, themselves, and everything else they encounter along the way as they try to make it out of the asylum alive.
In a nutshell, The Control Group kind of gives off a Scooby Doo-meets-The Walking Dead vibe. Essentially, we’ve got The Gang, who has to overcome their struggles to determine if and how they’re going to work together to survive when they don’t trust, or even really like each other. We’ve got the mind-altering drugs, the real-or-not-real monsters lurking about in the dark, a secret, government-approved ‘experiment’ being conducted on the unaware, zombie military agents, friendly ghosts and a mind-erasing, soul-sucking machine all housed within the confines of a spooky old abandoned asylum where, when anyone dies inside of it for any reason, they come back as something else.
There’s plenty of mayhem and madness to go around to keep things messy…in a good way. Oh yeah, as a treat to us horror fans, there’s also a mad scientist at the helm (delightfully played by Brad Dourif) who might have gotten away with his evil plan…if it weren’t for those kidnapped, drugged up, meddling kids!
If you’re a fan of B-movies, then The Control Group is a movie you’ll most definitely enjoy. There’s plenty of hokey dialogue and pretty decent gore effects that are reminiscent of ‘80s horror. The acting is amusing and enjoyable, as this film doesn’t really try to take itself too seriously. My only gripes are that the story starts out on kind of a confusing note, and watching the characters deal with their trust issues becomes boring and repetitive after a while. However, it becomes an easier watch once things start to take more of an interesting turn and the story picks up. All in all, I’m going to tell you to give The Control Group a chance.
Let me know if you dig it!