HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Down a Dark Hall Cross Channel
Year: 2018
Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Stars: AnnaSophia Robb, Uma Thurman, Isabelle Fuhrman, Victoria Moroles, Noah Silver, Taylor Russell, Rosie Day, Rebecca Front, Joshi May, Pip Torrens, Kirsty Mitchell, Jim Sturgess, David Elliott, Brian Bovell, Julia Stresen-Reuter Ramírez
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Kit Gordy (AnnaSophia Robb) was a little girl, she woke up one night around Christmas and something compelled her to go downstairs - was there someone there? She went even further, out into the snow-covered street where she saw her father walking away for reasons she could not grasp, and the following morning she learned he had passed away. Now she is a troubled teenager who cannot get used to her mother (Kirsty Mitchell) remarrying and is causing all sorts of bother at school, including being accused of arson, so it has been decided to send her to a special school in a mansion house in the countryside where she will receive intense treatment...

A little too intense in what played out as a version of those girls' comics tales where your problem-suffering heroine would end up at some creepy old school and have to contend with an escalating number of issues that wind up with mortal danger. It's the sort of thing that would appear in the pages of Mandy or Misty, maybe even Bunty, if it had been a British film, but it was actually a Spanish-American co-production, therefore it was drawn from a young adult novel, as they call them now, but didn't back when Lois Duncan penned the source in 1974, when they were simply teen girls' fiction to go along with the Judy Blume paperbacks in the local bookshop.

Duncan would be best known in the film world for the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer, a movie she disliked for what it did to her fiction (added murders, basically), but you imagine she might have liked this rather better, it was dedicated to her, for instance, and had a far more respectful approach to the material. Maybe too respectful, as while this grew fairly intense for the characters, the audience may not have been quite so caught up in the plot, partly because of director Rodrigo Cortés and his choice to shoot too much of this in a crepuscular gloom that made scenes less suspenseful and more, well, difficult to make out what on Earth was going on.

If you bought into the notion that creeping around in the dark equalled instant atmosphere, then there were compensations, mostly thanks to the cast who were up for a challenge, and turning from unsympathetic to someone worth investing in was what the younger, female performers were given to try. Robb's Kit was your movie-typical bratty teenager at the beginning, so naturally we just had to understand where she was coming from as far as her social maladjustment went (her mother was particularly tolerant of her bad behaviour but didn’t excuse it), and once she had shown up at the mansion, after a spooky night practically alone there but for some coldly interested staff, the others arrived. Not very many others, she was surprised to see, as there are not even ten of them, never mind a whole assembly.

The others girls have their problems too, but after a while you twig why they are there, largely ahead of them as headmistress Uma Thurman (putting on a French accent, apparently to match the actor playing her son, Noah Silver, who was French himself) puts them to work in specialised classes that each of them excel at individually in one subject, but not together. Every so often you get someone claiming to be psychic who can channel the post-death work of an artist, be they a painter or a composer of music, you know the kind, "Here's the latest by John Lennon", "This is what Van Gogh asked me to paint", and so forth, and that appeared to be Duncan's impetus for writing her novel. Of course, all this playing around with the spirits, which is not the excuses for, er, "eccentrics" to demonstrate their skills of pastiche, is taken seriously in Down a Dark Hall, resulting in what amounted to the film massacring most of the characters with blithe abandon. It had some nice ideas, decent performances, but never really got to grips with the horror. Music by Victor Reyes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1130 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: