Directed by Dustin Ferguson (2009)
Reviewed by Cinemetographer_X, added on Apr 4 2009
Guest Reviewer: Cinemetographer_X
Free indie horror movie? What's that you say? Free movie?
I'm there, I hope it's not a bunch of gay cowboys eating pudding out of a skull.
To say the least, I was not disappointed in the viewing of Return to Horror House. The historic Joyo theater in Havelock-Lincoln, NE was packed at about 2/3 to 3/4 full capacity. It was great to see so many people at the old theater.
This movie was pure fun. The cinematography was well done throughout most of it. The only thing I didn't like were a handful of the camera angles when a single person was on the screen. Just needed a slightly different angle but it wasn't so bad that it took away from the film. Overall, it had an extremely effective impact that was portrayed through the visuals paired with the music.
The music was excellent throughout. From the looks of it, much of the sounds were original compositions or at least original mixes of music. Great job melding what is often an overlooked and underdone part of the movie experience.
The story got started with a bang and then proceeded very efficiently into the slow build of the "potboiler" style that director Dustin Ferguson introduced in a brief thank-you speech before the screening. It was a very fun take on the whole "I'm locked in a 'hospital' of some type and they won't let me go and no matter how hard I try I can't escape the madness closing in on me" story. And oh yes, the madness did close in on the "patients."
The characters were very fun in their interactions; I just wish they could have fleshed out a few of the other "patients" a little bit more. Could have added some great impact to the climax scenes.
The climax was great, with only one moment of one scene that I didn't know why it was "thrown" in that way. Besides that one off moment, I wish they had expanded the resultant horrors of Horror House a little bit more but, again, it didn't take away from the movie.
The kill scenes were great. While they were completely expected, the actual moment of impact was very effectively paced. The pacing of these and the overall film was very well thought out and showed through the editing.
Fun Level: 9.5 / 10
Music & Cinematography: 9 / 10
Story: 8.5 / 10
Characters: 8.5 / 10
Overall : 8.875 / 10
Comments from Jeff...
You can learn more about Return to Horror House at the Retro Horror Remix website.
The movie will be available soon for purchase on DVD and will also be available to download for free. I love that the filmmakers are trying some different methods of distribution, so be sure to check them out. And thanks, CX, for covering this local event for us!