This is as mediocre as mediocre gets. I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular out of this one, but the preview lead me to be believe that there could be some promising scares. Boy, was I disappointed. Part ghostly, part religious, part satanic, part sacrificial, part possession; it’s hard to tell where this film is trying to take its audience.
Pastor Dan and his family relocate to a small country town for his new job at the local church. Pastor Kingman, who definitely seems a little questionable, is retiring and passing the torch to Dan. When they finally arrive at their beautiful ranch style home, the Parrish is already unloading their belongings, saying they sent away the movers because they figured they didn’t want strangers in their house, yet they are strangers themselves. I love horror movies with religious undertones. This taboo theme can spark controversy and uneasiness. Though this theme is more overt than an undercurrent, it fails on all accounts.
The film focuses most on the two teen daughters of the new pastor, whose main focus is meeting local boys. They seem a little too boy-hungry for being pastor kids. The older of the two develops a semi-relationship with one young man in town while the other suffers from strange dreams in the new house. It was at this point that I knew I was going to hate the rest of the movie. The first presence of a ghost is anything but scary with cheesy CGI effects. Also, the continuing appearance of a black tar substance in these dreams/visions has no point or meaning. This is the directorial debut of Anthony Leonardi III, who in the past has only been involved in the art and makeup aspects of film. With his background, one would at least expect some cool special effects and makeup, even with a poor script. But this facet of the film was unexpectedly even shoddier than the plot and acting.
Anne Heche plays the mother. Not that I think she is a good actress, but having a known name in any film certainly helps. We all remember Anne Heche for her psychotic breakdown years back when she declared she had been abducted by aliens. It’s hard to take her seriously with a story like that but some wack-jobs can actually be converted into decent talent. Unfortunately for Anne Heche, her role is minimal and neither challenging nor interesting. She is just the mother, no other depth to her character than that.
I couldn’t really tell you what this movie is actually supposed to be about. Is it about the creepy locals? Is it about an untraditional fearful religion? Is it just a ghost story? I have no idea what the point is. When it started getting to the “scary” parts, I totally lost interest. I could barely finish it but suffered through it to get a review in for you all. Now you don’t have to go through the same suffering, unless you are into that sort of thing.
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