A doctor has found a way to cure people from their phobias. Not through regular hypnotherapy, but he has found a way to force them to face their phobias through hallucinations in hopes that they will fight them. But there is a stronger force in these hallucinations than he can control.
"Fear Clinic" finds itself between "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Galaxy of Terror" (or the late '90s sci-fi "Sphere"). You might be able to pinpoint even more accurate comparisons, but this should paint a decent picture of the concept of "Fear Clinic". It's better than your most typical horror movie premises, but does it execute it well enough?
It's about a doctor who has invented a way to defeat people's phobias. He does this by putting them into his machine and force them to go up against their phobias through hallucinations, while remaining in a safe area. This is not always the safest way of dealing with your issues, of course, as there have been incidents that didn't end well. Dr. Andover knows that he has created something important and he has to fight through his own fears of this happening again, to continue his research and teachings.
I didn't find the movie to be particularly good due to boring characters, so-so acting, and simply not going far enough with its idea. However, the idea is still intriguing, and towards the end I was treated to some creature feature action, which definitely made it more enjoyable. The script certainly wasn't deep and thought out enough to be a thought-provoking psychological horror, which it often tried to be, so it was refreshing when it turned more into pure horror at the end. The creature effects are definitely a highlight of the movie, where they even managed to pull of a decent prosthetic face for it (which was important because it is the face of Robert Englund!).
Yes, the movie starts Robert Englund, but that's no guarantee that it will be a good movie. It was one of the reasons I was curious about it from the beginning though! What also made me curious was that the lead singer of a band I used to listen to about 12 years ago has a role in the movie. It's Corey Taylor from Slipknot, but unlike his fellow rocker Marilyn Manson, I don't see a reason for him to be acting. At least Marilyn Manson takes very peculiar roles that all make sense for him to play. Corey Taylor simply plays a guy. I suppose a lot of musicians want to give acting a go, so whatever. It did suck that the movie threw in references to Slipknot (t-shirt) and Corey Taylor as a singer though (him singing a song on the radio). Maybe him being in the movie will help the marketing!
Ultimately there was not much that stood out with "Fear Clinic". It has decent ideas but the writers were unable to fully utilize its potential depth. The best part about the movie is that it turns into a creature feature towards the end. The movie has enough bloody scenes and a bit of nudity, so it might be enough to keep the viewers that just want a typical horror fare. "Fear Clinic" is a high-concept horror that blends some ideas from classics, ranging from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" to Lovecraft. It's not great, but it could have been a lot worse.