When I first read the plot of this direct to video movie, I was a little skeptical of it keeping my attention for the whole time. Two families who can’t leave a house? Hopefully it’s a mansion or the scenery is going to get real boring real soon. Well the home is only a decent sized two story deal, but they can leave the house. What they can’t leave is the property. There is no high wall or electrified keeping them in, it’s scarier than that. No matter how you head out, you end up right back where you started from.
Two families, the Hays headed up by father Charlie (Marc Singer) and Tomson’s headed up by father Don (Art LaFleur) are looking to buy a house. They both are invited to an open house to a property with lots of acreage. They arrive to find no one there to show them the house. Charlie decides to drive back to the road and get a phone number from the sign and call the agent. Unfortunately something darts out into the road and they crash the car. But no fear the Tomson’s car still works so they pile in and go to leave. Of course they can’t because if they could there would be no movie. The fact that it takes them forever to accept this already makes me care less about their ultimate survival.
However, the movie does stay pretty solid. When there is a supernatural force causing the horror I think it’s a lot creepier. And this movie is pretty good at the subtle things that creep you out. For instance, the house is empty, no one has lived there in awhile, sheets are over the furniture, yet there is warm, fresh, shaving cream and a straight razor in the bathroom. Also, in the cupboard, there is exactly one can of beef stew for each person who is in this group. After eating that night, they wake the next morning to find the cupboard restocked.
Now don’t think that this is a movie full of odd happenings, there will be death. There are malevolent forces at work here and they are not just overtly screwing with you, they are also in your head. It’s never quite clear of how the malevolent forces came to be or what exactly they want, but that’s just a minor detail.
The only real problems I had with this movie is that I wanted to smack the characters a few times. Part of this is that some of them are really annoying and just downright jerks. No fault with the movie on that one and actually kudos because they did get a rise out of me. But the other reason I wanted to smack the characters was for doing completely illogical things. It’s like they wrote the movie into a corner and just have them do something stupid to prevent them from escaping the property. Luckily isn’t done often enough that it ruined the movie.
I like the ending although I figured it out before and overall it was a good rental.