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Pathology (2008): Cause of Death: Predictability

Pathology (Marc Scholermann, 2008)

A collage of scenes from the film lit to look like a skull decorates a lobby card for the film.

Way better than the Milo Ventimiglia thousand yard stare poster found on Netflix, no?
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It is not entirely correct to say that Pathology is an uncredited remake of Stefan Ruzowitzky’s much-superior 2000 film Anatomie. There are enough differences between the two to keep the copyright lawyers at bay. But I will say that there was a time when I was watching Pathology where the two movies are so similar that I paused the movie, pulled up my spreadsheet, and searched it to see if I’d seen the movie before and just forgotten about it. I hadn’t, except for when it was called Anatomie. Now, I don’t want you to take that to mean that Pathology is a bad movie; it’s a capable little thriller, albeit one that goes for the cheap thrill too often. Just the kind of turn-your-brain-off-and-enjoy movie that hits the spot now and again.

The game's contestants walk down a hall in a still from the film.

The inner circle.
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Plot: Ted Grey (Stay Alive‘s Milo Ventimiglia) is a new med school student specializing in forensic pathology. While he may have gotten into his prestigious school thanks to his fiancée Gwen (Buying the Cow‘s Alyssa Milano)’s father being a higher-up muckety-muck there, he’s no slouch when it comes to figuring out cause of death. He’s good enough at it, in fact, that he catches the eye of Jake Gallo (State of Play‘s Michael Weston), a resident with a terrifying drug habit. But that’s not Jake’s only dark secret; he’s also the unofficial head of a small cadre of fellow residents whose extracurricular activities include wild partying and murdering people in inventive ways to see if they can fool the other members of the group vis-a-vis cause of death. Despite his misgivings, the puzzles fascinate Ted, and soon he is drawn into the group.

Ted and Gwen schmooze at a cocktail party in a still from the film.

“And this is what you have to pur up with when you’re done with your residency.”
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There’s nothing here you won’t see coming a mile away. But then, when pretty much everyone in your movie is a killer, it’s tough to get away with making your bad guys not seem bad. It’s fun. I thought it would have been just as fun without the drug-fueled orgies; your mileage may vary. But if you’re looking for a serviceable thriller and some amusing causes of death, this one will be right up your alley. ** ½

The full movie on Youtube.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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