Screenwriters Anthony C. Ferrante and Jay Frasco with director Jeffery Scott Lando from Ghostquake (2012) present a story about a sinister house with the physical hatred to all individuals that possess the slightest intention of staying within the walls or walking on the grounds, a very unfriendly welcoming gift. The film sounds of interest, and then add it, a reality television show called Sinister Sites, a haunted house investigation team, similar to that of the famous Ghost Hunters, except the host of this reality series, has the misfortune of finding that cancellation rumors circulated surrounding him and the show. The subplot of this, comes under the heading that his reality show serves as nothing but a farce, never discovering anything, and resulting in a dummy and made CGI shots, therefore his team and crew must investigate a true haunted house, along with well-known psychic played by Charisma Carpenter (Psychosis ). However once on the location of the house, the grounds appear, murky, a creaky gate, overgrown areas, and yet inside very homey and inviting, nothing like many other haunted house appearances in so many other horror films, giving both the audience and crew on site reason to pause. Even when comparing it to the other haunted houses stories, a common trait with this sub-genre, for that giant films reside at the top of the charts, with The Haunting (1963) and the lesser known Ghost Story (1981) the homes had tinges of evil reaching out to grab the unsuspecting guest. The closest that happens refers to a kitchen scene with fully stocked refrigerator, deviously gross.
The back-story on the house reveals itself in drips and drags, and not always in positive storytelling manner, discovers the last person to vanish, while at this house, and was a little boy in 1950s, no further trace found, his name, face and body wiped off the earthly plain. They all learn that the original owner delves deeply into voodoo and perceived lengthening his life by feeding the house souls. Through series of uncommon styles, the production assistant becomes the target of the house, and eventually spills out of the walls and the psychic mouth, and interesting gory scene. From this standpoint the house feeds to live and surviving, and learn that from the records found inside the home, with information noted slaves, prostitutes, criminals and even children have fed the largest character in the film – the house. However, an error and perhaps a sadly miss opportunity escaped, as the last meal for the home occurred 60-years ago, shouldn’t the house of age, crumbling, walls, decrepit stairs, stenches and other soil issues, that could allude to a better story and imaginary. The translating of the story from a famine state to a healthy killing machine, conveying a more grounded horror story, but alas that did not occur, rather, the audience has a large body count in a beautiful home. Sadly, no over-the-top bloodbath scenes, a few graphic moments to stir emotions, and perhaps shift your seated position, and mixed with intentional obnoxious dialog especially character Quentin French (Corin Nemec). Corin ideally nails his character and putting down anyone who is not himself, and brushing off complaints of others as trivial matters. The cast was decent, and based from simple straightforward low-budget horror move, with believable special effects, but lacking with a chilling baseline, the scares barely resonates on the screen.
The crew who most would reassemble to work on Ghostquake, made a complete film, providing good editing, the atmosphere created from Charisma and Corin, added in, the truth telling of how a crew treats a production assistant, and noting a brief hazing period. An obvious parody attempt at the real Ghost Hunters occurs from the graphics on the Sinister Sites’ shirts to the fake opening show credits, that ideally references Syfy’s copyright holders on the program.
House of Bones, runs the standard course of a horror film, fulfilling the 90-minute quota, filmed in Crowley, Louisiana which is known for many real haunted locations, nothing stated by the producers to allude to that aspect another glaring error missed, to incorporate into the story.
Overall, the film saddles with a dullish screenplay, misses may marks, and plays a game taking one-step at a time as the film progresses with each passing minute. In the end, just like a casino the house always wins, and in fact adds a human zombie to the mix, a decent looking caretaker but trustworthy perhaps to learn that in a sequel.
This review was originally published on the now defunct Rogue Cinema in June 2014 with a view count of 860.
- No One Here Gets Out Alive.
IMDb Rating: 4.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10