Double Blind movie poster

Double Blind (Movie Review)

Just as death and taxes are two of life’s certainties, so is the fact that at some point in our lives we all have to deal with doctors. With that in mind, one extremely effective sub-genre of Horror is that of medical-based horror. Joining this sub-genre is the new Irish film Double Blind.

Whilst they have both previously collaborated on a number of shorts together, Double Blind – released in select theaters beginning February 9, 2024, and available on February 13th through digital platforms through Epic Pictures – is the feature debut for both its Director Ian Hunt-Duffy and Writer Darach McGarrigle. The film follows Claire (Millie Brady: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 2016, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword 2017), a down on her luck young woman who has volunteered for a clinical trial that is being run by the mysterious Blackwood Pharmaceuticals. Joining Claire for the study are fellow recruits Alison (Abby Fitz: Der Irland-Krimi: Das Verschwinden 2021, The Cellar 2022), Amir (Akshay Kumar: Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2017, Beautiful Disaster 2023), Ray (Diarmuid Noyes: Five Minutes of Heaven 2009, Good Vibrations 2012), Paul (Brenock O’Connor: Vita & Virginia 2018, The Bromley Boys 2018) and Vanessa (Shonagh Marie: Britannia 2017, The Tower 2021).

Double Blind movie
Double Blind / Epic Pictures (2024)

Running the trial is Dr. Burke (Pollyanna McIntosh: The Woman 2011, The Walking Dead Series) who administers the doses of the experimental drug and monitors the effects. When it becomes
clear that the effects of the drug are rather more extreme than the company had expected, rather than pausing the trial, Dr. Burke and the higher ups at Blackwood Pharmaceuticals offer the volunteers more money to continue. But soon the drug becomes fatal, and the facility is locked down, leaving the volunteers trapped and in grave danger.

In all, Double Blind is a great example of a really effective low budget, Sci-Fi Horror. The premise of a drug trial gone wrong is a reasonably simple one, but it works well on several levels playing into medical anxiety, claustrophobia and paranoia. As the film progresses, it also becomes clear that the volunteers must not fall asleep under any circumstances. This is a great way to amp up the horror in a subtle way because of course this is such a basic human need that we take for granted. Now the characters have yet something else to contend with and trying to stay awake only adds to their feelings of isolation and mistrust.

Double Blind movie
Double Blind / Epic Pictures (2024)

Visually, Double Blind is also really strong. Taking place in a sub-basement level type bunker, the film feels claustrophobic before the characters even become trapped. The low, long corridors and rooms that look like operating theatres also add to the feeling of anxiety and of feeling like this is not a place that is warm, friendly or safe in any way.

Overall, Double Blind is a great debut from Hunt-Duffy and it creates curiosity for audiences to see what he will do next.  That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

Double Blind movie poster
Double Blind / Epic Pictures (2024)

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