Visiting Hours Reviews
The one thing I was most taken by was the ease with which the killer moves about in this hospital, as he seems to wander in *whenever* he feels like it, take a pass at killing Grant, then disappear again for awhile, then turn up again with no one really noticing anything amiss. It's almost comical.
Well worth a rental.
There are hints of a deeper backstory, but the film can't seem to focus enough to make it all work. The first 2/3 of the movie are very flat - almost as if it were TV Movie of the Week with more blood - and lurid while still lacking the grime of more traditional Grindhouse fair. Just when most flicks of this ilk lose there way, Visiting Hours gains some traction and actually turns in a couple suspenseful scenes. Alas it's too little, too late and it remains a random, little known exercise in gratuitous junk.
The beautiful Lee Grant is a TV newscaster that's had enough of violence against women and makes her opinion known on national television. This attracts the attention of a crazed lunatic (Michael Ironside) who gets his kicks from hurting and killing lovely ladies. After a failed attempt to kill her in her home, he decides to follower to the hospital where he fails again, again... and again. Seriously, how many chances does this psycho need?
What disappoints most horror fans is that this film fails to meet expectations that the entire picture is going to to take place in the hospital with the killer stalking his victims. "Halloween II" this is not. Our killer visits the hospital on numerous occasions (mostly resulting in failed attempts to kill our heroine) and he almost always manages to escape to scare prostitutes and stalk beautiful nurses in their homes.
To be honest I would have preferred it to take place more within the hospital walls as it does get a little ludicrous with the number of times killer attempts to murder our heroine and then gets away. I swear this hospital has the SHITTIEST security of all time! The film also fails to go the extra mile when it comes to suspense and, of course, on screen gore. I'm not asking for both... just one or the other and "Vistiting Hours" fails on these two basic ingredients that are a must in the Slasher genre.
The cast is TOP NOTCH for such a genre film. Lee Grant is a fabulous actress (an academy award winner) and she brings a sense of grace to a genre that is usually littered with amateur actors. Michael Ironside (one of my all time favorite character actors) is majorly creepy as our psychopath. He always plays great villains and he got this role for his memorable performance in "Scanners", which was produced by the same fellas behind this. Hell we are even given a hammed down appearance by William Shatner. I never thought I would see Captain Kirk in a slasher film, that's for sure.
The solid cast makes "Visiting Hours" worth visiting. It just lacks some of the essential ingredients that slasher fans crave, notably suspense and/or blood. The plot can get a wee bit ridiculous at times and the final confrontation with our killer is disappointing but horror fans have seen plenty worse slasher plots, trust me. "Visiting Hours" is definitely worth a onetime watch.