DOUBLE BLIND is a new sci-fi thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes and a wonderfully tight story. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. And yes, horror elements are prevalent in the movie as well. Read our full Double Blind movie review here!
DOUBLE BLIND is a sci-fi thriller that delivers on so many levels. A small cast and a simple story set in one location (mostly) is all you need for an entertaining movie. As the title indicates, it all revolves around a drug trial set to take place over a few days. It’s a high-risk drug trial, and very early on, it’s easy to see why.
The runtime is a crisp 1 hour and 30 minutes, which means it gets down to business fairly fast and stays on track. While this is a very decent sci-fi thriller, the moments of horror were what stuck with me even more. When your mind starts playing tricks on you, things can get scary fast.
Continue reading our Double Blind movie review below. In select theaters on February 9 and VOD from February 13, 2024.
Squid Games goes Drug Trial
Though the people signing up for the drug trial in Double Blind consist of just a small group of people, the whole live-in situation and uniforms reminded me of Squid Games. But no, they are not required to complete any games where they die if they don’t win.
No, instead they’re given drugs – a larger dose each day – and have their blood drawn and their brain scanned daily.
The results are alarming to the doctor, but she’s as caught in this experiment as the test subjects are. Once the side effects of the drug become obvious, they have just one job: Stay awake or die!
This shouldn’t really be a problem as all the test subjects have found it impossible to fall asleep since the test began. However, it appears they’ve moved into a new phase where staying awake is becoming increasingly difficult. Of course, it’s at that very moment they all discover that falling asleep means dying.
I know this might sound very Nightmare on Elm Street-inspired, but there’s no Freddy Krueger out to get them. Instead, their minds and bodies have become their worst enemies. Those who are still awake have seen how death happens and it is not pretty.
In fact, it’s extremely bloody and quite violent.
A small but solid cast
As the doctor leading the trial – but having no real power beyond that – we have Pollyanna McIntosh (Vikings: Valhalla, The Walking Dead). She has the most intriguing face and ends up having essentially two roles in this movie. And that’s all I’ll say about that to avoid spoilers.
Whenever I see her, I still always think of Lucky McKee’s 2011 horror thriller The Woman first. She plays the title role and if you haven’t watched it, you really ought to. Angela Bettis (May, Dexter) is also in the film, which is yet another reason to watch it.
Anyway, getting back to Double Blind, the cast features Millie Brady (Roadkill, The Queen’s Gambit, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) in what is essentially the lead role. Her character’s name is Claire and she has a lot of demons. Also, she’s homeless, so the trial is giving her a chance to make money and be a temporary roof over her head.
Finally, we see Abby Fitz (The Cellar), who is simply wonderful as the extremely chatty roommate of Claire. You may also recognize Abby Fitz from The Woman in the Wall where she is the young version of the lead character.
Also, Diarmuid Noyes (Blood), Akshay Kumar (Pandora), Brenock O’Connor (Game of Thrones), Shonagh Marie (Britannia), and Frank Blake (Cherry, Invasion) are in the cast as the other test subjects in the double-blind trial.
Watch Double Blind in Select Theaters or on Digital
The award-winning Irish filmmaker Ian Hunt-Duffy (Gridlock, Low Tide) is the director of Double Blind. Previously, he has worked on short films and TV series so this is his feature film debut. The screenplay was written by Darach McGarrigle, who also worked on the projects directed by Ian Hunt-Duffy.
I love the idea of setting this trial in an isolated medical facility, where the focus is on the characters. First, we see them interact and just want time to pass quickly. Next, it becomes a desperate battle to stay awake to survive.
Despite being called mostly a “sci-fi thriller”, it could just as easily have been called a sci-fi horror movie. There is plenty of horror in this movie for it to deserve the horror label as well. On IMDb, it’s currently labeled as horror and thriller, but the sci-fi label is definitely also deserved. In other words, if you like these genres, check it out!
Double Blind is in select theaters from February 9, 2024, and On Digital platforms from February 13, 2024.
Director: Ian Hunt-Duffy
Writer: Darach McGarrigle
Cast: Millie Brady, Pollyanna McIntosh, Diarmuid Noyes, Akshay Kumar, Brenock O’Connor, Abby Fitz, Shonagh Marie, Frank Blake
When an experimental drug trial goes horribly wrong, seven young test subjects, after being kept awake for days, must face the terrifying side effect of the drug: if you fall asleep you die. Trapped in an isolated medical facility, they desperately try to find a way to reverse the side effects of the trial, as one by one they succumb to sleep and death. Panic quickly takes hold and they to turn on each other. It’s left up to Claire, the group’s unlikely leader, to keep them together, find a way to escape, and somehow manage to stay awake.