American Conjuring, Bind (2016)
Directed by: Dan Walton, Dan Zachary
Written by: Dan Walton, Ken King
Starring: Chloe Bear, Darren Matheson, Deborah Finkel, Eliza Faria, Lynn Csontos, Natasha Davidson
aka AMERICAN CONJURING
Directed by Dan Walton and Dan Zachary
After bagging the sale of the century, a family move into their new home but soon they begin to suspect that they aren’t alone in the house as they discover the home’s horrific history.
Canadian haunted house movie BIND, also known as American Conjuring, combines possession and ghosts to offer up a Shining-inspired tale of terror involving a couple and their two children.
Years before becoming a family home, the building next to the railroad tracks was a home for young orphans and it’s here we’re introduced to the spooky house. The opening scenes show a group of orphans picking on one of their own, something which is quite harsh to witness. For whatever reason, they don’t like her and seek to humiliate her on the day of her birthday. With the orphanage playing host to a malevolent spirit, it’s not long before the bullied young girl gets her own back on her tormentors in gory, bloody fashion, thanks to her persuasive new friend…
Fast-forward 10 years later and the abandoned orphanage is up for sale and it seems the perfect choice for Carol, her two daughters Chloe and Alyssa, and father Ben. With a bit of work needed to be done around the house, the renovation project is something Ben looks forward to getting stuck into but it doesn’t take long for the spirit of the house to make their presence known. Children laughing, an armchair rocking and a football rolling around the hallway is enough to send the chills up the family’s spine but despite these supernatural events and their concerns, they decide to stay in the home regardless. Only when eldest daughter Chloe, the rebellious teen who’s hatred of step-father Ben strains their relationship, becomes violently ill followed by her sister Alyssa’s penchant for nightmarish sketches does mother Carol become concerned for the wellbeing of her family. Despite all this, headstrong husband Ben insists they stay in the home, especially having forked out a lot of his own money for the property. However, the spirit of the house has more planned for Ben and his family than they anticipate.
Despite some forced dialogue, BIND works incredibly well as a haunted house chiller. It has the creepy hag living in the attic, poisoning all who stay in her abode and it has the creepy jump scares that frighten the bejesus out of the characters even if it doesn’t exactly sacre the viewer. It’s well paced to allow the uneasiness to seep under the skin as the family go about their daily life from putting away the laundry to the daughters bickering. What does puzzle is how long it takes the family to act upon their concerns, especially as one minute the wife is arguing with the husband about it and then the next they act like it never happened. It’s only when their house guest begins to affect the family’s beautiful Old English Sheepdog, things turn real nasty and the film takes on a violent edge, a la Jack Torrence.
Having seen films similar to this before, I expected the horror element to be quite tame so I was rather surprised by BIND‘s bloodlust. The scene with the little orphan girl at the beginning of the movie is pretty savage even though the action is committed off-screen. Later on in the movie, we see similar scenes that will make viewers squirm as blood splatters the face of one of our leader characters during a frenzied attack. We even get a sliced neck scene so, yeah, expect more blood than your average budget horror movie!
Though not terribly original, the film is quite effectively shot and had me glued to the screen throughout. It is, however, a little over-played in parts with some weak delivery but as a whole, BIND is an entertaining watch.