It is not often the case that a teenager is presented positively in films. They are usually deeply unpleasant in a variety of ways, so it is refreshing to see Natalie Martins playing the very convincing and appealing Katherine Prescott, teenage daughter of David (Lee Bane), who is not only grieving for the death of her mother, but also looking after dad who, by his own admission, isn't handling being a single parent as well as she deserves.
This is another offering from the stable of writer/director/producer Andrew Jones who has produced, and continues to produce, a steady stream of micro-budget horror films. Some are put off by the lack of spectacular set-pieces and effects. What do they expect from a project with such limited financial backing? Not that the low-budget defines the ultimate production – rather the stories these films tell are smaller and more intimate (and to me, far more human and effecting) that some superficial mainstream blockbuster.
In a big spoiler, the two of them move into a secluded Welsh farmhouse and are menaced by china doll Otto, who refuses to stay in the attic/under the bed/in the dustbin. I mention this immediately because, bless him, Otto is rarely convincing. He's a spooky doll operated off camera. Rather more effective are the life-size versions of Otto – cherubic, blank faced creatures in robes that, if you look carefully, have sparkling eyes beneath the mask hollows.
The sound quality here, which has held back scenes in previous Jones films, is much improved, and we are treated to a number of heartfelt speeches – the most impressive from David, lamenting his shortcomings as a parent to a sleeping – or is she? – Katherine. Regular Jared Morgan is terrific also, as an eccentric, disillusioned paranormal investigator called Hans Voltz.
My only issue with this is the lack of a conclusive, or even satisfying, ending. A séance brings forth the strongest manifestations of evil yet. Father and daughter flee - and that's that. It would have been interesting to at least see something of what happened to the other cast members, and repercussions thereof. Ah well, at least in the post-credits sequence, it seems the trouble is not quite over yet.
Action / Horror
Action / Horror
After the death of his wife, David Prescott moves to a secluded farmhouse in a Welsh village with teenage daughter Katherine. A stressful, upsetting time is soon made all the worse when they encounter unexplained occurrences and frightening visions in their new home. Desperate for answers, David turns to retired paranormal investigator Hans Voltz who must rediscover all of his skill and spiritual strength to defeat the spectral menace.
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May 31, 2016 at 05:39 AM