Gran Via, Miramax Films, Tequila Gang,

Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison, Alan Dale, Jack Thompson, Julia Blake, Edwina Ritchard, Garry McDonald, Emelia Burns, Guillermo del Toro

Sally (Bailee Madison) is a young girl who seems to have a bit of a flaky mother who sends her off to live with her dad, Alex (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes). Alex has just invested his last dime in a very old magnificent, if a little run down mansion that formerly belonged to uber rich nature lover, painter, and odd fellow Lord Blackwood. Lord Blackwood disappeared years ago shortly after his son disappeared. Alex and Kim (Kim is a well known interior designer, and Alex must be an up and coming architect) are attempting to restore the house to it’s full glory to get on the cover of Architectural Digest. Sally on the other hand, is just bummed that her mother sent her away, and she’s irritated that Dad has a new girlfriend. Kim, too, seems to have some baggage accepting a new daughter as she mentioning recently losing a son. Sally and Kim don’t start out too well, but as weird creatures in the basement start terrorizing poor Sally, she finds that perhaps Kim is the only one she can count on. All hell breaks loose in Blackwood Manor and it all starts with an old fireplace in the basement that was sealed off and hidden years ago after Lord Blackwood disappeared.

This is a remake of a made for TV film in 1973. I understand the TV film wasn’t bad at all, but I don’t recall seeing it. That sets this movie up for one to hate! Why do we need a remake is always the first question. There are some problems with this film. There are some huge errors and a plot hole or two. But that really hardly matters here, as the film is so damn creepy! I mean this one really scares you. Mostly the monsters (?) are hidden from view, and we don’t know really who they are or what they want. Then, unlike the original, this one has them definitely after the child, who is a very believable abandoned by her mother, scared and vulnerable little girl with something supernatural after her. And the old, “no one belives the kid” thing gets a good workout here.

The film is dark and scary, with all the good things for anyone who loves horror. There are “jump out of your seat” moments for those who love the loud noise – pop out of nowhere moments. There is blood and gore that is dome pretty graphically for those who love the guts. There is also a great deal of suspense and outright fear as we wait for these things to happen and we try to put the pieces together.

So my opinion is to forget the plot holes and errors in the script, and just get into it and scare yourself out of your socks. This must have been a hoot in the theater, but now that it’s on DVD, turn down the lights, turn the volume up loud, and have a scare fest that is really worth it for a change. I don’t think any horror fan will be overly disappointed in this film.

Should you wish to talk about the goofs and plot holes, let’s comment, but I don’t want to give away too much info in the review. Enjoy this one!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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