A medical horror thriller that revels in huge egos and the methodology of murder, Pathology (2008) is a stylish, sexually charged drama featuring some nasty autopsies, examining the aftermath of some creative kills. Realism isn't a major factor, as a group of medical students engage in a game where the goal is to commit homicide in an undetectable manner
Med school grad Teddy Grey (Milo Ventimiglia) joins the pathology program at Metropolitan University Medical Center and encounters a group stuck up medical students led by Dr. Jake Gallow (Michael Weston) who aren't particularly welcoming. Gallow is an arrogant prick, and rising to the group's challenge, a confident Grey manages to impress with his knowledge of forensics. Becoming involved with the group, Grey soon discovers that their idea of fun is for members to take turns killing people, and for the rest of the group to figure out how the deed was done. These macabre thrills are supplemented by crystal meth and sex. When it is her turn to kill, Gallow's girlfriend Dr. Juliette Bath (Lauren Lee Smith), asks Grey for his help. Accelerating his descent into darkness, Grey participates in a particularly cold-blooded kill, followed by some nasty celebratory sex.
Things get complicated when Gwen Williamson (Alyssa Milano) Grey's fiancé comes to stay. Gallo and Bath's relationship grows more unstable, and Gallo's resentment for Grey grows stronger when he discovers that there is something happening between Bath and Grey. The game becomes more personal, and quickly spins way out of control as Gallo commits mass murder. Recognizing things have gone too far, Dr. Gray makes a bold move to end the game. Gallo counters striking a devastating blow, however Dr. Gray one more ace up his sleeve.
The complete disregard for human life shown in Pathology, runs along comparable lines to the torture porn genre. The participants in the game mix murder, sex, drug use, and a high level of intelligence to try and achieve an ultimate high. The premise is not entirely original, but film does have some unexpected twists, and delivers some shocks, and graphic mostly post mortem gore. This is definitely a movie where you have to go along, as the believability factor is very low. Just one example of something that would not happen, is when after finishing an autopsy, Gray leaves the naked body uncovered, and walks out of the room while music plays. Very dramatic, but not at all realistic given the identity of the deceased, and the circumstances, where a real coroner would be involved, in what should be a criminal investigation.
The acting performances are very good, in that you don't really like any of the players in the game, particularly Michael Weston who comes across as particularly despicable. In turning to the dark side, Milo Ventimiglia has the most challenging role, and he does it quite well, typically with a snotty look on his face. Alyssa Milano's role is significant, though unfortunately she really doesn't have that much to do.
The special features include a making of featurette, and a conversation with a real pathologist. The filmmakers' commentary track is lively, but a little short in the information department. If a slick, edgy, medical thriller with solid production values, good-looking sets, and some pretty gory special effects sounds interesting, you may want to check out Pathology.