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House on Willow Street (2016)


March 24, 2017 - 1:15pm | FrighT MasteR

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
5
houseonwillow.jpg

Rating #: 
5/10
Director: 
Alastair Orr
Cast: 
Sharni Vinson, Carlyn Burchell, Steven Ward, Zino Ventura, Gustav Gerdiner


Also known as From a House on Willow Street, the film focuses on a crew of clichéd criminals who kidnap the daughter to a wealthy family with hopes of getting some kind of ransom out of it. Unfortunately they get a bit more than they bargained for when it turns out that the girl happens to be possessed by a sinister demon (talk about bad timing). Now the tables have turned and it's the group that's being held hostage, as the demon won't let them leave the warehouse that they're stashed in.

I'm a fan of films that try to blend different subgenres, so mixing a bit of crime with a somewhat uncommon possession story really peaked my interest. This started out fairly decent once we move passed the cheesy dialogue and the group captures the girl (which occurs pretty early), but the pacing is what really kills this. The movie has this back and forth pattern where something happens and the pacing picks up then shifts to another scene with not much going on, which slows things down again. This happens quite a bit throughout the film, so it never feels like it really picks up until towards the end.



In between a lot of these scenes we'll get a series of predictable jump scares, which the movie seems to rely heavily on. There's no tensions or suspense buildup anywhere here, which goes along with the lack of character development. This makes it hard to root for anyone since all we know is that these people are criminals and they're kind of getting what they deserve. Sure we get a bit more back story on our female lead, but not enough to really care for her.

Negative aside, it's competently filmed and boasts some decent practical effects and some semi-cool looking "demons," though you'll also have to sit through some questionable CG during some of these scenes. And when the pacing does finally pick up the action can be pretty decent, so it's not an entirely bad film.

I liked the idea of combining crime with a possession film, but this turned out to be better in concept than in execution thanks to some bad pacing and a heavy reliance on jump scares. Fortunately there's some decent action and practical effects at times, but not enough to make up for its many faults.

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UHMfans/

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