By Clint Fleener | March 17, 2006

‘Experiment’ plays like a throwback to the paranoid anti communist films of the 50’s, think Manchurian candidate but with more mood and less plot. Anna is rolled out of a truck on to the cobbled streets of Prague. She can’t speak, doesn’t know who she is and she’s hallucinating. Meanwhile her counterpart Morgan emerges from a river, also dazed, he is inexplicably assaulted by a suspicious gang of thugs and then rescued by an old man. Of course the old man isn’t just a good Samaritan he’s working with the stock thriller characters, ‘computer geek’ and ‘psychotic guy’ on an experiment that involves Morgan and Anna’s minds.

The plot plods along in the beginning, Anna and Morgan stumble around Prague learning how to speak again and trying to find each other. Anna is ‘activated’ and attacks patrons in a trendy Prague discothèque and really can you blame her, even not being part of a sinister mind altering experiment, can any of us say we wouldn’t have done the same. She is rescued by Morgan and they try to piece together what is happening to them. The old man who is running the experiment, Joseph, peruses them but has unanswered questions about the work that his sinister boss Walker won’t answer. Joseph tries to uncover the real motives of the experiment while Anna and Morgan try to regain their sanity.

And thus moves the majority of the film in small and easily anticipated plot twists sprinkled with a moody, tense atmosphere. What keeps this film from falling into a clichéd mess is the last thirty minutes. After fumbling for an hour to set up the finale the last third of the film delivers nicely as our couple, with the help of an atoning Joseph learn about their shared past and confront the sinister puppeteer that controls their hallucinogenic strings.

The film looks great, and the beautiful city of Prague functions as another character. Morgan is played by John Hopkins, a British T.V. actor and he is good. Georgina French plays Anna and she is also an excellent actor but her bumbling amnesic fits border on the hysterical at times. This isn’t a movie that’s so much about the acting, ultimately it’s the twists and turns that make it a good ride. Experiment approaches cheesy but veers away and turns into a taught science fiction thriller.

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