‘The Patient’ evaluate: Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson sq. off as therapist in opposition to serial killer in a psychological chess match

The premise sounds easy sufficient, as Gleeson’s Sam, a serial killer, kidnaps his therapist, Dr. Alan Strauss (Carell), with the intention to have interaction in some actually targeted work that he hopes will “cure” him of his compulsions, or no less than assist curb them.

Chained to a mattress in a distant visitor room, Alan retains enjoying angles in his head that he hopes will hold him from changing into complicit in Sam’s avocation — or a sufferer himself — whereas searching for any lapse or weak spot that may permit him to flee or persuade Sam to let him go.

There’s a contact of Hitchcock in Alan’s everyman predicament, and extra occurring with Sam than initially meets the attention. For starters, there’s the query of whether or not he lives alone, and the way that may play into the psychological chess match that the therapist is grudgingly compelled to play.

Created by “The Americans” tandem of Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, “The Patient” provides Carell one other strong straight dramatic position (after the ill-conceived “Space Force”), and capitalizes on Gleeson’s present for conveying halting awkwardness, inserting him on the alternative aspect of the perilous dynamic he occupied within the sci-fi film “Ex Machina.”

Nonetheless, the cat-and-mouse interplay is clearly deemed inadequate to maintain the narrative even with the wrinkles thrown into it, and the story detours right into a sequence of flashbacks relating to Strauss’ late spouse (Laura Niemi) and the way in which that he grew to become estranged from his grown son (Andrew Leeds), whose flip to a stricter adherence to Judaism prompted a rift together with his mother and father.

The concept that Strauss would use this time to ponder his personal life is smart, however there’s a component of manipulation in each the way in which that storyline is offered, and different gadgets used to get contained in the character’s head. On the plus aspect, Carell’s portrayal is refreshingly actual by way of the character’s fears on this insane state of affairs, difficult the acquainted follow of reworking an atypical individual right into a superhero below perilous circumstances.

At its finest within the opening chapters, which run solely a couple of half-hour, “The Patient” cannot absolutely maintain its promise and would have benefited from paring down the again story; nonetheless, the execution lastly proves unpredictable sufficient to justify the journey and principally keep away from the serial-killer cliches that too usually rear their ugly heads.

Odds aren’t everybody will really feel glad with the place “The Patient” leads, however it does hold the viewers off stability, and pondering the decision a bit past the tip. If that is not the prescription for an entirely rewarding final result, not like some remedy periods, the producers no less than should not be accused of losing your time.

“The Patient” premieres Aug. 30 on Hulu.