Starring: Virginia Madsen, Martin Donovan, Elias Koteas
Director: Peter Cornwell
What would you do if you moved into a rental home because your kid has cancer and you need to be closer to a hospital, but you found out that the place used to be a morgue? Well, you’d encourage your son to sleep in the basement, right next the old embalming room!
This film is a little daft like that in places, but it’s really creepy, silly fun, and loosely based on a true story which the Warrens investigated, which gives it that little extra spooky factor.
The family consists initially of a mother and her teenaged son, who is undergoing cancer treatment. The family are not wealthy, and the mother makes a snap decision to move into the rental, even though the house used to be a funeral home, because it fits into the family budget. They are later joined by two younger siblings, and a niece, who is helping them out during the difficult time. The father, who used to have a drinking problem, stays at their old house, coming down on weekends when he isn’t working.
But things soon get weird when the locked door in the basement, next to which the cancer ridden boy chooses to sleep, turns out to contain the implements of the embalming trade. He starts to act weird, things start to occur in the house, and we start to realise that the family is certainly not alone. The original owner was conducting seances in the house, and undertaking evil practices to keep the dead spirits handy.
There are quite a few plot holes, and the premise isn’t fully explored which leaves more questions than answers. But, the jump scares and the spirits stalking the house are good, and unravelling mystery are fun. The priest recovering from cancer who befriends the boy, joins them in solving the puzzle and exorcising the house, is a nice touch and amusingly has an excellent working knowledge of spirits and demons.
It’s good fun, and I really enjoyed it, with a few laughs and a few chills down my spine too.
See It If: you’re looking for an entry level horror to watch with a date. Good fun. Not too scary.