Directed by Jeremy Kasten [Other horror films: All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos (2005), The Thirst (2006), The Wizard of Gore (2007), The Theatre Bizarre (2011, ‘Framing Segments’), The Exorcist Files (2011), My Haunted Vacation (2013), The Profane Exhibit (2013), The Dead Ones (2019)]
This is a movie that I wish I liked more. The first time I saw The Attic Expeditions, I was probably too confused to form any opinion other than that I found it a disjointed mess, but seeing it again, I really wanted to appreciate what it was going for. In part, I think I do, but I still found it a movie that leads to far more unsatisfying scenes than satisfying ones, and that ain’t good, as the kids say.
It’s hard to critique the story because it’s difficult to tell what the story here really is. Certainly that’s part of what makes this film memorable, but even so, being as jumbled up as it was, with various different solutions that may be partially or fully true, it makes the film occasionally seem as though it was over-reaching and rather too ambitious.
I don’t really have a complaint about the performances, though. Andras Jones is perhaps the most unremarkable, but for a lead character in a movie like this, he does fine. I hated that haircut, though. Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, From Beyond, and most importantly, the voice of The Question from Justice League Unlimited) obviously brings some quality here – I mean, who doesn’t like a doctor who smokes joints while talking to his patients?
Seth Green (who I mainly know from Without a Paddle, The Italian Job, Rat Race, and, atypically, It) is really fun here, and I enjoy pretty much any time he talks. His line, “Well, that’s awkward for you” cracked me up, and his on-screen presence was on point. Ted Raimi looked really familiar to me, and to be sure, I’ve seen him in a few movies (Wishmaster, The Midnight Meat Train, and Candyman), but none of those roles seem to warrant my immediate recognition of his face, so that’s bothersome. Also, one of the nurses looked really familiar too, but after scanning all applicable characters in IMDb, no dice.
To be sure, there are some interesting ideas and elements here, such as the fact that after Green’s character caught the doctor with the blank book, she uses another patient who writes to supplement the material she can’t read from the book anymore (it’s explained marginally better in the movie). That’s some good paranoia, which is a lot of what this movie’s based around. It doesn’t make for a necessarily coherent story, though.
[This is the paragraph where I was going to compare this movie to other asylum-based horror films from the time period, such as 1997’s Asylum and 2004’s Madhouse, but despite seeing both of those films, I literally don’t remember a single thing about either, so I’ll just use this paragraph instead to insult my weak memory and note that I need to get to revisiting the both of those.]
I wish I liked the Attic Expeditions more. Even though I don’t care that much for it, though, I do admit that it has an atmosphere about it that makes the film unique, and the story, whatever the real story may be, is interesting enough to at least keep the movie moving along at a good pace. It’s something that I’d probably recommend for the experience, but it’s not something that I’d call a good movie at all, I regret to say.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil, and if you’d like to hear Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this oddity, by all means, give us a listen.