Subject Two

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

55%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

47%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 734
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Movie Info

Far From Bismark director Phillip Chidel takes a psychological approach to death and resurrection with a modern update on the Frankenstein legend concerning a doctor who claims to have found the key to immortality and the subject who ventures to his remote cabin for a series of chilling experiments. Deep within the snowbound monoliths of the Rocky Mountains, Dr. Franklin Vick is struggling to perfect the fine art of resurrection. Bringing the dead back to life is a tricky game though, and in order to truly carry out his research Dr. Franklin is going to need an assistant. Despite the highly controversial and blatantly unethical nature of Dr. Franklin's research, troubled medical student Adam Schmidt casts aside his doubts and hastily makes way for the doctor's snowbound laboratory to help take part in the potentially historic discovery. As the pair work feverishly to perfect their resurrection methods, they quickly find out that although death may not be as permanent as medical science presently dictates, it most certainly has some troubling side effects.

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Cast

Christian Oliver
as Adam Schmidt
Dean Stapleton
as Dr. Franklin Vick
Jürgen Jones
as The Hunter
Thomas Buesch
as The Professor

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Critic Reviews for Subject Two

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (5)

  • There are big ideas nibbling around the edges of the screenplay, but the movie seems underwhelmed by its own startling material.

    Apr 14, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Bringing back the dead ... feels old hat by now, a feeling mitigated only in bits and pieces by this decently crafted plod.

    Apr 13, 2006 | Rating: 2/4
  • Even if it overplays its ghoulish central concept, Subject Two honorably reps the neglected cerebral horror sub-genre.

    Jan 23, 2006

    Robert Koehler

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • O curioso roteiro passa perto de algumas boas questões filosóficas, abandonando-as por aparente falta de ambição. Ainda assim, prende a atenção até o fim; não com suspense, mas com seus personagens.

    Sep 11, 2006 | Rating: 3/5
  • Subject Two makes for an oddly inert viewing experience.

    Jul 19, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • for a completely independent and truly local film, Subject Two is good

    Apr 14, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Subject Two

  • Jan 28, 2009
    <div style="width:279px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489909"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489909_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489896"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/12/48/98/12489896_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489912"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489912_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489916"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489916_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489920"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489920_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489924"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489924_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a><I>Subject Two</I> </div></div> <I>SUBJECT TWO</I> (2006) WRITTEN BY: Philip Chidel and Philip Chidel DIRECTED BY: Philip Chidel DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Rich Confalone FEATURING: Christian Oliver, Dean Stapleton, Courtney Mace, Jürgen Jones, Thomas Buesch, and Philip Chidel GENRES: HORROR, SCI-FI TAGS: GRIM, HEAVY, DISTURBING, TWISTED PLOT: A medical student gets more than he bargained for when upon accepting an experimental internship, he discovers that immortality comes with a steep price. <I>Subject Two</I> is a fresh twist on the Frankenstein plot. It envisions being reanimated from the undead's perspective. It is deeply disturbing and every bit as repellent and hellish as one could hope. COMMENTS: A misanthropic medical student named Adam who flunked his ethics exam receives a cryptic email from a Dr. Franklin Vick. It offers him an opportunity to assist in unusual medical research and subsequently to share in the revolutionary scientific advances in medicine that result. He bites on the lure, but to accept the position, he must wait on an icy mountain road in the middle of nowhere to be offered a ride by a stranger. The alluring and mysterious chauffeur obviously knows more about what is going on than he does. His journey to meet the elusive Doctor Vick is itself a snowy odyssey into the isolated, surreal drifts and folds of the Colorado Rockies. When Adam and his driver reach a landmark beyond which the driver is no longer allowed, Adam must hike up a snow covered mountain to the doctor's laboratory. Now he is stranded, beyond the point of no return. The research facility turns out to be a converted chalet, reminiscent of Nikola Tesla's Colorado Springs retreat in <I>The Prestige</I>. He meets Vick, who tells him that the research is very unusual and important and that Adam is uniquely qualified. Vick avoids going into much specific detail. Adam accepts. What Adam doesn't understand is that what uniquely qualifies him is that he is now a captive. Nobody knows where he is, he has no means of departure, and his particular background makes him someone nobody will ever miss if he disappears. On this isolated, snowbound mountain peak, Dr. Vick is indeed performing very unique research. He is experimenting with life, death, and reanimation. In combination with makeshift cryogenics, he is using a bizarre recombinant DNA serum that alters and restarts the process of cellular respiration. The problem is, because the serum, timing and method of administration are as yet unperfected and misunderstood, the process has some very unpleasant side effects. Guess who gets to be the new test subject? VIck murders Adam, and not very nicely. Instead of shooting him up with an overdose of Seconal, he sneaks up behind him a violently strangles him. Then he reanimates him. He ruthlessly butchers and reanimates Adam repeatedly, trying to get the serum component balance, dosage, cryogenic, and temporal factors just right. There isn't an objective control group. Adam is both subject and control group, which is to say that as Vick and Adam perfect the research, they proceed via trial and error. As Subject Two, Adam is captive to a continuum of horrible and invigorating side effects, continuously oscillating between two extremes of mortal perception. Subject Two experiences his new reality as a twisted psychedelic nightmare. It is simultaneously clarifying and hellish. While continuing to inhabit the world of the living, he is now intellectually in the bizarre plane of the beyond. Unsettling developments alter Adam's experience when he discovers the frozen, bloody remains of what was apparently once Subject One buried in the snow. In a state of suspended animation, Subject One's head is riddled with an octopus of gruesome serum tubes. Subject One does not look pleased about it, but he is going nowhere for the time being. Then matters become complicated when a trespassing poacher stumbles onto the proceedings and Adam "corrects" him. The film has been criticized on two counts. Adam's character is allegedly not well enough developed so that we care about him, and the film was shot in digital video. I emphatically contest these assertions. Regarding character development, there isn't time in a standard movie to address every potential nuance. <I>Subject Two</I> is about a dreadful, inescapable cycle of perpetual violent death and reanimation. The film is a horrifying psychological thriller about the human condition in states of animation and morbid destruction. It grimly depicts what it means to be alive. It explores the existential nature and paradoxes of undeath. <I>Subject Two</I> is about the curse of immortality. With cerebral horror paradigms like this to contemplate, I couldn't give a dead lab rat's ass about Adam?s hopes and dreams, his life and loves. He is an unethical, bright, curious, but naive foul-up. I want to see how he handles the situation and what becomes of him, nothing more. While the cinematography has been accused of giving the piece the cheap feel of a soap opera, I dispute this as well. The cinematography is as sharp and precise as the frozen alpine air. It enhances the rarefied, ionic ether of the crystalline subzero setting. One can almost feel the thin, icy atmosphere paralyzing the lungs, the sting of snowy crystals against bare skin. Direct to digital bypasses the gloomy, dreary look of televised productions once shot on video tape. True, direct digital tracks movement the way video tape does, and lacks the lustrous detachment achieved by film stock. It is perfectly suited, however, to the white, snowbound, blue-skied clarity of the locale in <I>Subject Two</I>. The precision of digital is blissfully married to the stark, cold reality of this severe story. <I>Subject Two</I> is mostly a mental and physical dialectic between two actors. There is a cold calculation about their dispositions, rather than the emotionally overwrought yelling and screaming standard to other horror scenarios of its type. There is no dramatically shrieked, "Give my creature life!" <I>Subject Two</I> is pure science fiction and squeamish dread. The appalling nature of the irreversible psychic and physiological mutilation inflicted on Adam combines with Vick's amoral descent beyond unorthodoxy into pure evil. This profane combination provides all of the excitement and turmoil that one can endure. WHAT THE CRITICS SAY: "Set against the bright, breathtaking world of the snow-peaked Rocky Mountains . . . <I>Subject Two</I> is as much a clever inversion of the resurrection horror genre as it is a profound and ethical examination of the value of life and immortality." - Sundance Film Festival <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489930"><img src="http://content8.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489930_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489944"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489944_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489946"><img src="http://content8.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489946_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489949"><img src="http://content7.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489949_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489951"><img src="http://content9.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489951_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/subject-two-12489952"><img src="http://content6.flixster.com/photo/12/48/99/12489952_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"></a> </div></div> <div style="width:120px;font-size:10px;text-align:center;"></div><a href="http://www.flixster.com/videos?videoId=11070575"><img src="http://i.ytimg.com/vi/ojWGd1XarkE/2.jpg" border="0" /></a><div style="font-size:10px;width:120px;text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com"><I>Subject Two</I></a> - CLIP</div>
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2008
    Slow burning but very well executed, and a rare example of an intelligent horror movie but the characters are undeveloped. The twist at the end is awesome.
    Steven V Super Reviewer

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