In the heart of the rural British countryside, eight volunteers participate in a drug trial. Some are experienced in this line, others completely new. As the building goes into lockdown, one of the volunteers begins acting erratically, and it soon becomes clear that the trial has gone horribly wrong. As others begin to feel the effect of the drugs working against their system, the terror really sets in as the bodies of hospital staff start to get discovered, locked in with no chance of escape the survivors must battle for survival.
Guinea Pigs was a movie that was much awaited, originally set to premier at the 2011 Frightfest, it was postponed due to not being finished, it was replaced as a sub note by A Night In The Woods, which interestingly never saw its full release until a year later, ironically on exactly the same day that Guinea Pigs finally hit UK cinemas. The details of what caused the delay are not quite known, but unfortunately it seems if it was for reshoots, they could have done with more.
As a first feature length feature nobody can knock director Ian Clark’s efforts, getting a movie made as a first feature is hard enough, but getting it right is a whole different kettle of fish again. Sadly Clark does not quite get the mix right here, and Guinea Pigs is on the whole a trying effort.
From a reasonable start many aspects of the plot seem forgotten or unexplained, and then there is too much predictability in the movie to go with the latter point. Finally and the biggest weakness is the variable acting ability of the cast, from pretty much near excellent to awful. But it’s the predictability that is the biggest weakness here, Guinea Pigs has no mystery, no secrets, and certainly no surprises, you reach the end and fully understand that nothing has remotely moved you to think “that was different”, its just all been done before.
It’s a nice try, and if you think that the movie is seeing some cinema screens, Clark has done something right, because much better movies have gone straight to DVD. Give it a glance by all means, but don’t say you weren’t warned.
Guinea Pigs is in selected cinemas across the UK now, expect an imminent DVD release.