A grief stricken couple buy a country home to escape sad memories but wind up at the mercy of a family of very angry spirits in this grisly haunted house flick.
We first meet Paul and Anna Sacchetti as they are driving to their home in a remote New Jersey town. We learn they are running away from unpleasant memories involving the death of their son. They aren’t in the home for more than a day when their son’s possessions start moving around on their own convincing Anna that he is still with them. This is where most audiences would leave so they-of course- don’t.
Instead they turn to the spiritualist parents of their son’s best friend, May and Jacob. Anna is convinced that they can help establish contact with her son . Then things get weird.
A visit from a neighbor, the hard drinking Mr. McCabe, leads to eerie back round on their new home. It was built by the town’s residents in the 1800’s to house a mortuary. The first family that took over the place wound up being a horror story themselves. Turns out the dad made some extra money selling the cadavers and was only burying empty coffins.
This chilling tale is capped by the murder of the family by this deranged dad. To top it all off the basement gets super hot and always smells of smoke. This prompts Paul to bring in an electrician . He gets right to work but stumbles across a soot covered figure that attacks him. When Paul rushes to his aid there is no sign of anyone but the worker who is badly burned and out cold. Now is when any sane couple would leave -they don’t.
May and Jacob arrive and immediately pick up on dark vibes. A trip into town doesn’t help. While dining at the only restaurant all eyes are on them . Once they leave the locals start talking and we learn that they invite someone to buy the home every thirty years because the house requires it. Details are scarce so we are left to wonder exactly what the Saccettis have coming to them.
It all comes down to an ill fated séance that brings the spirits out into the open. This coincides with the whole town showing up at the Saccettis doorstep. What follows is a heck of a battle as these evil spooks turn on the townsfolk. It makes for a gore filled finale as the spirits reveal that they were the victims here and it’s time for payback!
This shapes up as a mash up of haunted house flicks with a gory home invasion psycho-drama. It works thanks to fast pacing and assured story telling by writer/director Ted Geoghegan. He demonstrates a fine grasp of the genre as well as an appreciation of its history. The film features several nods to the grisly 80’s horror of Lucio Fulci(House by the Cemetery). It also benefits from a star turn by Barbara
Crampton(Re-Animator) as Anna. Fans will also recognize Lisa Marie(Mars Attacks) as May and television veteran Monte Markham as the creepy McCabe.
Best line: “That house probably has more demons than ‘The Book of Revelations.’”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.