Coming to VOD August 16
A group of young friends are making a DIY horror film, lead by the ambitious Iris, use an abandoned asylum as the location for their movie. It doesn’t take long before things take a creepy turn and the kids start getting picked off. Fast forward a few years, and Iris, now an adult, is returning to the asylum with her colleague Jacob, to cover a story for a second rate ghost hunting tv show, about the asylum and the history behind one of its sadistic nurses. Once things start moving forwards, it becomes difficult to distinguish what’s real and what’s in Iris’s head. It’s apparent from the get go that she has an imaginary friend, as she’s the only one to ever acknowledge him, and when she does so in front of her friends she gets a look as if she crackers. The further Iris looks in to the happenings of the old asylum, the more she appears to be tormented. But is it her imagination or is she actually being haunted?
It’s an ambitious film, perhaps too ambitious for a movie with a budget as low as this one. There are some great ideas in place, with some being executed to great effect, whereas sometimes it misses the mark. The editing feels a little sloppy in places, with some of the jump scares seemingly mistimed. You could draw up parallels to certain films from the early 90s, with Stephen King’s IT (kids being terrorised by a malevolent force), and John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness (is the protagonist being haunted or are they going crazy?) springing to mind.
It’s an enjoyable enough film, though it does fall short of its intentions, but it’s a great concept, and although the script could have been a bit tighter, it’s a very good story, keeping things simple, with a psychological edge, and it’d be great to see if this had a little more money behind it. Hopefully Elaine Chu is a name to look out for in the future.