Visiting Hours is an 80s suspense thriller, with a pretty creepy killer, played by Michael Ironside, but does having a great killer make up for a plot that seems to be confused? Read on to find out…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: A crazed, women-hating killer (Ironside) attacks journalist Deborah Ballin (Grant). When he discovers that his attack didn’t kill Deborah, he comes to the hospital to finish what he started.
The biggest problem with Visiting Hours is its story. It’s a confused mess that doesn’t stick to one main plot thread, but instead gathers up a whole bunch and throws them down on the floor for you to dissect and put back together. Our killer, played magnificently by Michael Ironside (a man who really knows how to show off a pleather wife beater), seems to have ADHD. One minute he is going after our terrified journalist, Deborah Ballin (Lee Grant), the next he becomes sidetracked and kills a few random people. Also, the man leaves the hospital multiple times throughout the film and comes back wearing several different costumes. Where he gets most of these costumes, I don’t know. Later on in the film, the hospital is crawling with cops, yet he still manages to get in with no problem. This movie wins the award for worst cops and hospital staff.
The positives however are the tense chase scenes, which make up for most of the faults listed above. The ending is fantastic and utilized several of the hospitals locations with full force, with the basement chase scene being a big highlight. It may just be me, but I had a really strong Halloween II (which came out the year prior) vibe going during the ending. Although, the hospital in this film seemed to have been on time with their electric bill.
A few notable appearances in the film come to us by the way of William Shatner, who plays Gary Baylor, friend to Deborah. His role in the film is small, but well acted. Another nice treat was Lenore Zann (Happy Birthday to Me) who plays Lisa, an 80s rocker chick, who was pretty damn hot. Linda Purl plays Nurse Sheila Munroe and is actually in the film more than our lead star, which I saw as a good thing, cause I didn’t really enjoy Grant’s acting. Her constant repeating of words was pretty damn annoying.
Conclusion time! Visiting Hours features a few jump scares and a plot that is completely all over the place. However, most of the acting is above standard, especially from Michael Ironside and there are several tense scenes. It definitely isn’t the best movie, but certainly isn’t the worst. So, if you can look past it’s jumbled mess of a story, I think you’ll have a good time watching.
*Bad medical puns* The doctor is in! The only cure is death! Diagnosis murder!! I could go on with the cheesy puns, but I just don’t have the patients.