Cell Count (2012) – Movie Review

Reviewed by Melissa Garza

“Don’t bite the hand that heals you,” Dr. Brandt (Christopher Toyne)

The movie opens as Russell (Robert McKeehan) sits in the hospital watching his wife Sadie (Haley Talbot) die of an incurable disease.  Out of options, he takes Dr. Victor Brandt’s (Christopher Toyne) advice and allows her to go under experimental treatment.  Russell too is given the incision for the study as both are taken to a quarantined facility. 

Another patient, Mason (Sean McGrath) welcomes Russell and then eerily advises he had been there before – only that he was thinking of the future – five days from now.  Russell thinks he’s just a bit confused and goes to see his wife who is up and about.

They watch a video with the other patients where they are advised that after 3-5 days they can be released to the general population.  Other people within the confines have traded jail sentences to be participants in the study.

Brandt welcomes them aboard advising that the side-effects can vary but doesn’t mention any specifically.  Brandt himself had gone under the same treatment years prior.  His scar is much larger than the ones that will remain on the current patients.  When questioned, he advises that the old way was very invasive and now the cure being more powerful doesn’t need to be so large.

Slowly, the participants begin to show signs of sickness.  Mason can’t even get out of bed and another patient Mary (Adrienne Vogel) begins having cramping and serious discoloring of her leg.  Her pain becomes so awful that they attempt to call for security but no one answers despite the doctor hearing the call.

Russell confronts Dr. Brandt but his security official Officer Clark (Eric Newsome) puts a gun to his head advising that it isn’t the best idea. 

Things get progressively worse as it seems that the only one who is benefiting is Sadie.

Brandt is by far the best character within the film.  He is exactly what a horror film villain should be.  He’s controlling, evil, diabolical and intelligent.  More than any of that, he wears a phony facade of integrity which quickly crumbles. 

Toyne perfects the role as bad guy.  He is both provided the best dialogue within the film and offers the best delivery.

McKeehan also does tremendously well as the hero in trouble.  From the start, as he cares for his ailing wife, he has won over the audience.  He has their sympathy, their understanding and more importantly their hopes up that he’ll escape.

Talbot also does really well as the heroine.  She shows signs of guilt for those suffering from the outcome and does her best to find out both what is going on and how she can assist those suffering.

From beginning to end, the movie captures the audience’s attention.  It is a great true horror movie, reminiscent of 28 Days Later and Cabin Fever.  The movie goes by quickly, and refreshingly leaves few unanswered questions.  Nearing the end as the group bands together attempting to stop those alive from dying at the hands of the mad doctor’s expirement.

The conclusion is fitting of the entire movie and provides one of the scariest sequences I’ve seen.  The imagery used in the movie leaves the viewer unsettled and wanting more.  The great special effects helps the movie feel geunine and keeps the creepiness intact throughout.

Definitely, keep a look out for this movie!  It is not one to miss!

Overall Rating:  8/10