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Cast: Tahmoh Penikett, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Erica Durance, Julia Voth, Colm Feore
A squad of marines sent on a classified mission deep in the war-torn mountains of Afghanistan finds the mysterious item they were sent for…but it’s not what they were expecting. The next thing they know, Major Cafferty (Tahmoh Penikett, Battlestar Galactica) and the surviving squad members wake-up in a military medical facility with no memory of what happened or even who they are. Using an experimental drug, doctors try to “reboot” the soldiers’ memories, but one by one they fall prey to bizarre hallucinations and homicidal fits of rage. Only through snatches of resurfacing memories does Cafferty begin to question the true motives of the hospital staff and discover the shocking, deadly reality behind the otherworldly artifact they found.
"Painkillers" is a Sci-fi/Fantasy/Action/Thriller about a group of marines who are sent on a classified mission in Afghanistan to retrieve a "Package" but when the group returns minus three of them, they do not have the package and they have no memory of what happened. They find themselves in a military medical facility where a doctor explains to them why they have this lack of memory and he sets up a plan for them to gain it back slowly by giving them "sleeping pills" to help them maintain a deep sleep and restore their memories. They cannot go home to their families until they fully remember what happened. But nothing is as it seems and when Major Cafferty finds out what the doctor's real plans are he must find a way to get his few remaining crew members and himself to safety before it is too late.
"Painkillers" isn't a great film and it isn't a movie you are likely to remember or watch again but it still makes for an entertaining watch. Obviously done on a low budget the film itself looks good. The film mostly takes place in the facility but it uses flashbacks to Afghanistan and inside the cave, this helps fill in the blanks as far as the story goes. The script definitely has its weaknesses but for the most part it does a good enough job keeping your interest and it keeps you guessing what is going on and what really happened to the marines in that cave.
Acting wise the cast did a good job playing their roles and giving realistic performances and Director, Peter Winther did a good job at keeping the film moving forward at a nice pace while using a bunch of flashbacks to tell the story.
I found this little Sci-fi to be entertaining enough to recommend it to anyone that likes the genre. It does a good enough job building suspense and keeping the mystery level high enough to keep you interested until the end. Available on DVD, you can order it HERE.
Released by Image Entertainment
** 3/4 Out Of *****