Patrick is an Ozploitation film which basically means it's an exploitation film from Australia. For most that will immediately put this film in some perspective and how to approach it. Another example of this is Razorback and if both of these films are representative for the genre then I have a lot of catching up to do.
By no means Patrick is a serious film. Even when most of the actors act like they are in one, most of the events are pretty far fetched and characters act surreal. It is asked of you to suspend disbelief although the film is trying real hard to convince you that what occurs on the screen is pretty real. Of course it's not but strangely enough it is very effective. Now by today's standards Patrick is a little slow and uneventful. However that is compensated by the sheer craziness in the few scenes where things do go over the top.
But is how the characters react to these events that make this film interesting. I will give you an example of this. Kathy Jacquard (Susan Penhaligon) our main character who comes to work as a nurse in the private clinic where Patrick resides seems to be a little paranoid as she is being stalked by someone. Craziest thing is though that her paranoia drops the second she is confronted by her stalker. Like there and then she figured out it was pointless to start with. This makes no sense whatsoever and don't even try to make sense of it since the film never bothers to explain. And the little explanation that is given is not sufficient at all. But it is asked of you to accept this particular plot turn and focus on another. It severely detracts from the seriousness. The only reason you can put it aside is the fact that the actors do their best to not lose their composure.
Despite the supernatural elements in this film a lot of emphasis is put on the building up of suspense and tension. While not always convincing there are hints of dread of some evil lurking. It's pretty obvious who that evil is and yet sometimes the film makes you doubt. Or should I say tries to make you doubt. It's also not always clear who we should root for since most of the characters are incredibly flawed and wrong in their own ways. Although it has to be said in some cases it is exactly what gives this film a certain charm.
Overall this film offers you some decent fun if you let it. Compared to the remake this by far is the superior one but I will go deeper into this another time.