This movie which comes from directors Brian M. Conley and Nathan Ives (who also co-wrote the script with Sean Decker (L.A. Slasher ) and Brian) appears to not only giveaway the principle location in the title but uses one of the most common titles possible hence leading to find itself lost among the movie wasteland (more on this later). Now, this movie deals with a serial killer, who’s focused on one target however, he’s channeling multiple personalities into his torture chamber basement while showcasing talents similar to Split (2016) the consequences prove a blazing glory which has secured distribution from Uncork’d Entertainment.
This movie takes place in one central location for 95% of the film, and yet uses it very well, all for a violent scenario of disturbing proportions and a cascade of mental breakdowns. The story centers on the latest serial killer plaguing Los Angeles, called The Gemini (Jackson Davis, known for numerous bit television roles and for the thriller The Wrong Car , however this character does show clearly his creativity and ability to handle a complex acting assignment), who tortures and ultimately decapitates his victims with a blowtorch. Face it, that’s some originality and by the opening of the film the audiences learns he’s killed seven people. Meanwhile, Craig (Cayleb Long) a famous singer with a beautiful wife Kelly (Mischa Barton (The Toybox ) and life, fancy mansion and car, a world of luxuries, however one learns he’s trying to end an affair with Bianca (Bailey Anne Borders (The Ice Cream Truck ), by deleting her texts. One night, he heads out to seedy area for a bottle of champagne, strange his place has no champagne, but anyway his trip leads him into the clutches of Gemini. Craig suffers both explicit physical torture and mental anguish, as well as psychological bewilderment, for reasons untold to the audience until much later, a nice reveal, which I won’t tell you about, best if you view the story for yourselves. While normally the Gemini sign means duality, Davis’ character actually contains multiple personalities, with each one having their own duality, and using the basement as a staging area for interrogation, dressing as a mother condemning the actions of Craig. It all works as if Craig is the Gemini killer, and each new personality plays a role in the process from arrest (officer, then lawyer for both sides to execution), all in bleakness. Kelly, struggles to maintain sanity, as she can’t file a missing person report for 24-hours, and she’s not the only one losing their grip on reality. There’s one comedic scene involving the ‘pizza man’ and a crafty cover-up of a crime.
As mentioned earlier concerning the title problem, it’s always an issue for filmmakers, wanting something creative intriguing and yet simple to stay in the minds of potential viewers, often enough one might choose a title someone else used, however using the IMDb site can eliminate the problem. I note this, simply, the title The Basement has at least 5 movies use those exact words, and expand to greater than 200 if one includes just the word basement. For example, in 2017 Director Laszlo Illes’ The Basement released by Breaking Glass, proceeded by four other horror films with same title and one thriller from 2009 to 2014. It only takes 30-seconds to discover this information, it’s the little things that go a long way in making nightmares in horror flicks.
The Basement definitely contains a low-budget, especially primarily using one location, hence, most of costs going to the special effects, though a tad more gore wouldn’t be bad at all. The cast works tiresomely, with Cayleb and Jackson, playing off each other, noting the minor contributions from Sarah Nicklin, Jessica Sonneborn as cameos and Borders, tries to excel, but her role just too light to turn it into something more meaningful. However, Barton’s character expands in depth with creative conclusion to the film. A side note, again focus on the name of the killer, yes, the astrological sign Gemini always bringing interesting aspects to films, slightly overplayed, they deemed themselves adaptable to their surroundings and hide personalities in the dark, and mask the behaviors of others around them or from media. Most horror fans likely to remember infamous character, Gemini Killer, that Brad Dourif portrayed in The Exorcist III (1990).
Everything in the film, finishes nice, after the reveal, which some might realize before then end of, if you avoid the spoilers for others. The hardest part for the viewers of the movie, trying to root for someone, each character contains a damage morality, however the best audience likely aspiring actors, especially for the watching of Davis’ character.
- Two Men. Twelve Personalities. One Living Hell.
IMDb Rating: 3.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10