Supernatural horror films always remain a creative place for no to low budget productions to gain some traction in the market. Justified by looking at the first Paranormal Activity film, minimum money invested along bare elements of equipment, some inquisitive storyline, and luck, capture the creation of a new franchise. Hence ghost hunting in general led nearly awe-spiring filmmakers to attempt a production in the same vein, while others lean to the slasher genre, but with ghosts not always need to show, especially if the actors can generally pull off the expressions of fright. Although, to be fair some have even able to do this, a movie does show some sort of specter movement from white free-form powder in the air ala The Uninvited  to the physical manipulations of objects in The Haunting (1963) these aspects carry firmly over to today’s horror cinema. Herein lies the micro-budget written, directed and even edited by F.C. Rabbath, a man noted to have the talents as an inventor, comedian, former journalist, entrepreneur, and containing over 30 credits mostly short-films and a feature film entitled The Hum , present this flick that wobbles back and forth between scary and suspense, but sadly never quite achieves solid footing in either camp.
The story starts with Jon (Daniel Link (Krampus Unleashed )), a single parent, who’s between jobs and dating again since his divorce, thanks more to encouragement of his two daughters, who live with him: Eliza (Avery Kristen Pohl) and older sister Becca (Ella Schaefer (Killer Kart )), in the house owned by his ailing father (Henry Tisdale (Kirksdale )) on the edge of a forest. The family is shown as living on hard times, though in a nice home, the setting not matching the storyline, but their home appears to be haunted; however, the repeated arguments concerning low money accelerate the tension within the family dynamic and build rising stress levels. All of the disturbances seem to originate from the nearby barn, sinister groans and shaking lights give the daughters, great concern and plead to leave the area. A priest, no name given in the film credits (and I didn’t hear one), portrayed by Mike Whaley arrives to battle the demon only warns the family to flee as he does quickly; though not clearly expressed how he became involved in the matter. However, older brother Sam (Hudson Meeks) returns home to discover the truths of the noises and a deal struck countless generations ago. Sadly, none of it makes much sense and dissolves into non scary flick quickly filled with horror clichés.
The filmmakers attempt at positive usage of the few materials on hand for the production but clearly shows the limitations of the equipment as to the quality presented on the screen. This results with the film not providing many actual scares and relying more on forced generated frights, and this contributes to a predictable ending sadly. Truly any movie regardless on the genre, but especially that of the horror we the audience need to care about a character, giving them sympathy or to root for them in some manner, think about The Exorcist  we want the mother and daughter to reunite to vanquish the evil or The Thing  ultimately hoping for someone’s survival for the sake of humanity. However herein, completely lacking in this movie one finds the characters paper thin and without thorough and clear introduction and exited from the film; it frankly leaves one uncaring about the latter half of the film. This all lies more on Rabbath’s script doesn’t exactly give the cast much to work with, especially with regard to the dialogue, and direction all seem a tad off, simply lacking strong conviction.
It’s always troubling when after watching a movie, one struggles as much as the movie did with what it’s trying to become, a possession thriller, without any thrills, nope, then a horror movie without any authentic scares, that identifies slightly better. Overall, the storyline with the limited budget likely serves as a short film of 40-minutes thereby timing a half-hour from the final cut, and perhaps packaging it with other short films of Rabbath for distribution from Wild Eye Releasing, alas that’s not what happened.
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IMDb Rating: 3.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.0/10