13 April 2024
Patrick (1978)
112 min.
Directed by Richard Franklin.
With Robert Thompson, Susan Penhaligon, Robert Helpmann, Bruce Barry, Rod Mullinar, Julia Blake, Helen Hemingway, Maria Mercedes, Walter Pym, Frank Wilson.
A captivating Australian sleeper in the mold of Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976).

In a brutal act of matricide, Patrick (Thompson) murders his mother - and her lover - and then lapses into a 3 year coma.

Dead by nearly every definition, the psychotic man is kept alive by medical equipment.

After new nurse Kathy Jacquard (Penhaligon) arrives at the Roget Clinic and is assigned to monitor Patrick, she begins to experience mysterious phenomena.

Windows open and close by themselves, lights flutter uncontrollably, and the hospital's typewriter begins to have a life of its own.

It seems Patrick is trying to communicate with Kathy, but how could he be? And what is he trying to say?

Worse still, when the strange incidents begin to move into her personal life - and her friends and family begin meeting untimely deaths - she suspects Patrick of psychokinesis...with deadly aims.

A strong performance by lead Penhaligon, thoughtful characterizations by the supporting cast and director Franklin's (Psycho II) generally well-executed suspense setups buoy the storyline.

A gorier, bloodier sequel (of sorts) came with the Italian-made Patrick Still Lives (1980).

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