I went into Pathology not expecting much. After all, it’s a slasher/thriller flick that was delayed from November 2007 to the random date of April 2008. The only thing it really had going for it was Milo Ventimiglia, the ever-adorable Peter Petrelli on Heroes. I’m really glad I wasn’t expecting a good movie, because I didn’t get one.
Pathology follows Ted Grey (Milo Ventimiglia), a star medical student on his way to a pathology rotation at some prestigious hospital and Any City, USA (I say Any City specifically because the teenagers behind me spent at least twenty minutes arguing, out loud, over what city this was – it doesn’t matter.). He meets Dr. Jake Gallo (Michael Weston), a fellow student, and his clique of pathology students. He also meeds Ben Stravinsky (Keir O’Donnell) who seems to be the only normal one, even though the clique tortures him like he’s a band geek and they’re the varsity football team. While Ted has a fiance back home (Alyssa Milano) and a life to go back to, he falls in with this clique and their twisted after-work activities. They kill people and have a contest to see who can figure out how they did it. Sick, right?
We watch as Ted falls deeper and deeper into the clique, and as Jake starts to get crazier and crazier (think Ryan Reynolds in The Amityville Horror). Eventually it all comes crashing to its inevitable end.
Now, people who know me know that I love cheesy horror movies. I think Scream is a beautiful thing. I Know What You Did Last Summer = horror cheese gold. Unfortunately for Pathology, it wasn’t the cheese that killed it, but everything else. It was predictable. The cast, with the exception of Michael Weston, weren’t used to their full potential. It was full of shock shots (cracking ribs open, a dead body spurting blood when cut into, etc.), and not in a good way. Tons of gratuitous sex scenes – don’t get me wrong: a well-placed, plot-influencing sex scene is fine, but these literally added nothing to the story other than Milo Ventimiglia’s ass.
After all that, here is my biggest problem with the entire movie: these are medical students. Let’s say the average age of a medical student is 26-29. Then why does this sampling of students act like a bunch of high school kids? It’s as if the writers wanted to make a teen horror movie, but had this great medical student idea (and I do think the basic premise of pathology students gone bad is interesting and had potential to be much better), so they kept the characters the same and stuck them in med school. It just doesn’t make any sense that, for example, one student could throw a cadaver liver at another and not be kicked out, or at least sent home for the day.
The one highlight of the movie was Michael Weston as Jake Gallo. Weston has been on ER (as Sam’s ex-husbands break out of jail partner) and Scrubs (as the veteran with brain injuries), but you’ve never seen him like this. He’s unbelievably charismatic, even as he’s drawing poor Milo into this awful scheme. He plays a twisted character better than I have seen in a long time – he bounces from jolly good friend to murderous psycho within seconds, and then bounces back. One end scene in particular reminds me of Christian Bale in American Psycho. Unfortunately, Milo’s adorableness and Michael Weston’s excellent performance can’t save this flop. Avoid going to see this unless you have a desperate need to see Milo Ventimiglia’s ass, or Alyssa Milano naked.
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