Yours Truly has just returned from a Steampunk Halloween party in Old Town Sacramento and has just washed the ghoul face right off of his own face. Wait a minute, I already have a ghoul's face. Well, no, not quite; more of a freek's face. I didn't misspell "freek". "Freek" is what I call a geek and freak in one; and so People like me can have the best of both worlds (as well as many others too)! Well if you really want to freak out this Halloween, then read on to the following movie review!
There’s been many horror films about houses haunted by the ghosts of murder victims that lead the living to their murderer, but Deadline has a little bit of a different take on this subgenre.
In director Sean McConville’s movie, the murderer is revealed slowly but surely through video tapes that a screenwriter (Brittany Murphy) finds stashed away in the attic of an old Victorian house that she is staying in. This is done with some help of the murder victim’s ghost (Thora Birch, Ghost World, no genre relation), of course. As Alice, the screenwriter, discovers the murder victim’s, Lucy’s, past that consists of a failing marriage to an abusive husband (Marc Blucas), the two women are presented as doubles to each other. Therefore we see that Alice’s past failed marriage is very similar to that of Lucy’s, Alice also having had an abusive husband. The use of the doubles characters helps develop the character of Alice giving her sympathy for Lucy and motivating her to discoverer her murderer.
The suspense is done very well making the viewers not want to leave their seats until the end. The setting of the house is made really good and fitting for a modern gothic horror film with its dark, labyrinth-like layout, which much like in the late Stanley Kubrick’s Shining, the camera moves us through. The transition between scenes of Lucy’s past and the present scenes of Alice’s life is very smooth and quick nearly tricking the audience into thinking the two women are one person. The plot unfolds at a pace that holds the audience’s suspense. The acting is overall good too, especially that of Thora Birch who can play the part of a ghost really well in this, uh, kind of real ghost world. The graphic violence is kept to a bare minimum and for good reason since the movie emphasizes story and character over visual action. Yet the special effects are produced very good for this kind of film.
I strongly suggest this film, especially if you’re a fan of gothic horror and paranormal fiction. This is a movie that you will not find any critical appraising blurbs for on its DVD’s box and so is far too underrated in my opinion. This is one that is good to watch for Halloween as well as anytime of the year!