“Pathology” is a nasty, naughty little film, a delightfully disagreeable horror-thriller about a group of medical students who engage in unusual extracurricular activities. Gleefully brimming with body parts and bad behavior, it’s a fun piece of flamboyant tastelessness… Perhaps the biggest surprise to come from “Pathology” is the unexpected sensitivity Schoelermann has to the dislocating isolation of downtown Los Angeles, the spooky-sad emptiness that often takes over at night.
-- Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
Even squeamish viewers are apt to be captivated by the tight, credible scripting; these 20-somethings talk and behave like today's irony-clad young sophisticates. And whatever your opinion of the subject matter, you can't fault the filmmaking.
-- Sandy MacDonald, The Boston Globe
The average human brain weighs three pounds, which may explain why “Pathology” still feels more substantial than most death-by-bonesaw shockers. The genre has proven an effective showcase for first-time feature directors before, and here, helmer Marc Schoelermann demonstrates a firm grasp of tension and style.
-- Peter Debruge, Variety
So schnell und gallig wie Marc Schölermanns Debüt „Pathology” ist lange kein Thriller mehr gestartet. Die kleine Hommage an Meg Ryans berühmte Restaurantszene in „Harry und Sally” deutet außerdem alles an, worum es gehen wird: Sex, Macht, Sünde, Tod… Der Werbefilmer Schölermann hat ein Gespür für originelle Bilder… „Pathology” ist ein elegant inszeniertes Gemetzel.
-- Marc Felix Serrao, Süddeutsche Zeitung
Like The Other Boleyn Girl, Pathology is not for everyone, but if you like your genre films to have some guts and some edge, it might be for you. The premise could have made for a silly PG-13 potboiler (something like The Skulls at a med school), but Pathology has the fortitude to take it much, much further.
-- Eugene Novikov, Cinematical
“Seven Overlooked Gems from the Top Half of '08”
It's refreshing that PATHOLOGY makes no bones about what it is: A grisly, R-rated thriller. Director Marc Schoelermann has clearly been reading the David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club) playbook, as his film takes place in a visually majestic (yet still terrifying) city of secrets and conspiracies.
-- James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
When a movie opens with the diner scene from “When Harry Met Sally” as performed by cadavers and later proceeds to sex scenes involving scalpels and needles, the actual plot is inconsequential. Fans of hard-R exploitation will love this; everyone else will likely be appalled. Screw 'em!
-- Luke Thompson, LA Weekly
Director Marc Schoelermann gives the proceedings a bleak, clinical look, not going for jump scares as much as for a sense of pervasive dread. One of Schoelermann and Ventimiglia's major accomplishments is that we actually remain invested in Ted's situation, never becoming alienated, though he is going down a very dark path. PATHOLOGY contributes some memorable new wrinkles to the serial killer subgenre and works in its own right as a tight narrative. If you like darkness and you want something a little different, try this.
-- Abbie Bernstein, iF Magazine
The movie feels more like a deliciously mean-spirited 70's Euro thriller than it does a contemporary American one and that can only be a good thing. PATHOLOGY is a thriller infiltrated by hard R-type horror, though the key difference is that this one is ballsy and offers no tidy resolution.
-- Steven West, The Horror Review
“Pathology” is a wonderfully dark, twisted and scarily realistic portrayal of human corruption, brought on by a sense of God-like powers granted to an intelligent, powerful yet cold and disdainfully disconnected generation… Ekkehart Pollack and Schoelermann both work together to create highly effective, brutally realistic photography. Throughout, motifs are implemented, colours are carefully chosen to reflect what's going on inside characters and effects are used sparingly to create feelings of nausea or disorientation, reflecting again, very effectively what is happening on screen. In the end what Schoelermann manages to achieve is a very immersive, engaging and viscerally shocking thriller that explores the darker sides of humanity a whole lot more unapologetically and unforgiving than most modern thrillers. It's dark, depressing, bleak and very hard to enjoy in a classical sense, yet it is nevertheless just as effective and interesting as any brighter feature. With an original, thrilling plot, emotive photography and meaningful characterisation in amongst relevant themes, “Pathology” is a raw testament to the evil that still breeds in our civilisation; an evil that isn't simply allocated to the usual suspects.
-- Jamie W., rottentomatoes.com
I would say “Pathology” is the best thriller I have seen all year. It is well shot and the production values are fantastic and as the movie progresses you really develop a connection with the films characters. It has some fantastic climatic scenes that really have some impact. The end of this movie is without a doubt easily one of the best closes I have seen in a thriller in many years.
Pathology is the kind of movie I've been longing for in the horror genre. It's unapologetically sick and twisted, and done with a great level of style. In his American film debut, German director Marc Schoelermann delivers a lot of rich, visual flair. On one level, Pathology is a gleefully repulsive and twisted movie that isn't pretending to be anything else. At the same time, it's a slick and solid piece of filmmaking, and that's an element that the horror genre is missing.
-- DVD Movie Central, Gordon Justesen