Indie horror film god Wild Eye Releasing once again demonstrates its chops regarding the VOD/DVD releases of "The Control Group." This 2014 movie throws plenty of mayhem at the five college kids who find themselves trapped in a dark and scary setting.
The following YouTube clip of the trailer for "Control" perfectly provides a sense of the particular brand of horror in the film while teasing you regarding the underlying concept.
New student with a "history" Jack wishes that he woke up in the bed of an ex or of a coyote ugly girl who got a jump start on the Freshman 15 when his morning after experience centers around witnessing a horrific scene (complete with dark-robed figures wearing creepy masks) on regaining consciousness in an unfamiliar gym. He soon finds his new roomie and the high school friends/fellow freshman of that dude only to discover that they are not faring much better. One negative aspect of their badly altered sense of reality is that the group does not recall ingesting the responsible substances.
The audience soon learns that these poor saps are the lab rats in a secret government experiment that madman with an evil mind scientist Dr. Broward (whom veteran character actor Brad Dourif plays with apt craziness) is conducting in an abandoned insane asylum. A pending mutiny by his peace keepers turns out to be the least of his problems.
The first twist that sets "Control" apart from similar films is that flashbacks give us the history of the kids before they face the twin challenges of fleeing for their lives and being under the influence of a drug that prevents believing what they are seeing. An example of this is not knowing whether cable or barbed wire is entangling one of their own.
Said future frat boy who does know Jack becoming very active after sustaining extensive bodily harm is the first clue that the phrase "I'm from the government; I'm here to help you" extends well beyond the program that monitors the effect of the experimental drug on the college kids. The additional element relates back to the history of the asylum and the current presence of some long-term patients.
The final scenes add good depth to "Control" in that they are more exciting and substantive than merely running around until the big bad experiences trauma that at least adequately disables him, her, or it to allow the surviving monster chow to escape. The parallel existence is only part of this.
On a larger level, "Control" provides helicopter parents whose kids are headed off to college next year cause for concern. The better news is that the risk of Billy or Susie getting so drunk that they vomit all over their name-tagged clothes no longer seems like quite as large of a deal.
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