You know, after seeing this movie I'm shocked. I'm always introduced to crappy, CGI infested paranormal / haunting themed films, movie theaters, and DVD, and it really gets annoying. . But "Sanatorium" truly breaks the ice this time, delivering a pleasing surprise.
First off, the story of this film. O-kay, they cliché it up with the same technique of paranormal movies. A group of friends who hunt ghosts meet they're next stop, or in this case. They're final destination. It's the same story that's been seen various of times, sure, but the thing different about this film is how they execute it. For a movie that hosts an ongoing cliché; making it different, it's quite hard, but under various circumstances, this film slips through, and stands out unique. Which is something that's solid, and entertaining to see.
Next, the elements of this film, something to really talk about. This movie here is classic, using practical effects when it comes to the kills, scares, and ghosts. This film uses the old paranormal technique of which the ghosts / entities are invisible, forces of which we, the audience can't see, something of which many paranormal films no longer use, instead of crap CGI, or horrible makeup design. The particle designs, and kills are great in this movie too, displaying some nice, believable gore, blood, etc, featuring, once again I say, something that many other paranormal films seem to be absent of. It's much appreciated, and adds tremendously to the boosting fact that this film is different, and classic.
Finally, the acting, camera work, setting, etc. The setting of the film was a sanatorium. ( NEVER SAW THAT COMING! ) and it was unsettling, featuring your classic elements to an abandoned setting, including peeling paint, dust, cobwebs, creepy wheelchairs, doors and such, all that good stuff we audience look for! Now for the characters, in my opinion at least, they were fine. In this case, they weren't your annoying clichéd characters, they were actually smart, and quick thinking to where they knew something was wrong, instead of "OH! LET'S GO TOWARD THE NOISE" That kind of annoying character cliché. They had meaning, instead of constant decision that mean nothing, only annoying us audience, instead, the characters are meaningful, and we actually care when it comes to character life threatening situations. Finally the camera work. For one, this is a found footage film, but surprisingly, this film had low amount of shakiness so to speak. Or in this case, a character holding the camera, looking as if they're swinging it everywhere but the main focus. Instead, the film is nice to the audience, keeping it as steady as possible, switching from roof top cameras, to the characters. Overall solidly stable, and not disorienting..
In conclusion. This movie is a decent, solid film that holds common paranormal / ghost movie clichés, topping them with classic ghost standards ( So to speak ) steady found footage techniques, and particle effects, and gore. This film won't disappoint, though it may not be the strongest Afterdark releasing, it's defiantly a smart one, displaying a well paced film that doesn't disappoint, and doesn't waste time. I'd recommend this to ghost / paranormal fans!