Repairing the broken pieces of your past can be a daunting task, especially if those pieces come back to cut even deeper than before.
Clinical follows Dr. Jane Mathis a year after the anniversary of a client brutally attacking her. The incident left her traumatized and unable to cope with the repercussions. She’s tried moving on, but a new foe brings fresh danger that could ultimately cost her her life.
Late at night around Christmas time, a desolate medical treatment center is occupied by Dr. Jane Mathis. The rest of the staff have gone home for the night, but she is still at work finishing up some paper work.
A loud crash comes from a few rooms away and Dr. Mathis walks through the dimly lit hallway to her client Nora’s room. Nora is an adolescent being treated for childhood trauma. It seems she is the only client in the building and also appears utterly unstable.
When Dr. Mathis enters her room, Nora’s hands are trembling, her arms are drenched in blood up to her elbow and there’s a shard of broken glass is in her cut open hand. Dr. Mathis tries to have Nora give her the glass, but as Nora cries, “You were wrong, you were wrong,” she keeps digging the glass further and further into her hand.
Dr. Mathis tells Nora one more time to give her the glass or she’ll call the cops; and snap; Nora screams as she attacks Dr. Mathis. Making viscous quick jabs and swipes at Dr. Mathis’s forearm, Nora manages to wrestle Dr. Mathis to the floor and pin her there, where she proceeds with the stabbing.
None of Dr. Mathis’ vital organs or arteries have been sliced, and she’s able to kick Nora off of her and catch her breath.
The two are standing in Nora’s room gasping for air, Nora calms herself and raises the sharp dagger up to one side of her neck. Shock has taken over Dr. Mathis’s body to the point where she can’t move. Against her will, Dr. Mathis watches Nora drag the sharp bit of glass across the whole front of her neck just above her clavicles.
Thick maroon blood gushes down Nora’s body. Dr. Mathis begins to hysterically cry, and the film’s opening scene comes to a close.
Remarkably (in fact, almost impossibly) somehow Nora survives. Dr. Mathis undergoes treatment for post traumatic stress disorder while Nora recovers in another facility.
It’s ironic how Dr. Mathis treats PTSD patients, yet now she finds herself on the opposite spectrum in the role of a patient undergoing treatment from another doctor.
Psychologically, Dr. Mathis doesn’t seem to recover after a year, which in turns provides an illegitimate narration from her character. She is popping pills daily, and it’s hard as a viewer to believe whether or not the sounds and sights she’s experiencing are real or just hallucinations.
Clincial lacks originality in the script that was written and the plot is one which feels all too familiar. Films such as Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, and Shutter Island all had climactic turning points in the movie the viewer wasn’t expecting. That never happens here.
In fact, most of the film feels like a drawn-out build up for the last showdown to take place during the last 20 minutes. The other hour and 22 minutes are wasted on cheesy dialogue and insignificant scenes. With there also being a lack of suspense and stomach jumping moments, your time is best spent doing something else.