The Door with Seven Locks (1940)

Directed by Norman Lee [Other horror films: The Monkey’s Paw (1948)]

Based on an Edgar Wallace novel by the same name, this is a movie that I’ve been wanting to see for some time now. Sometimes known under the title Chamber of Horrors, The Door with Seven Locks is a quality dark house mystery movie, and while it may not be special in many ways, I do adore much of the film.

Lilli Palmer isn’t a name I actively know, but she did a pretty good job as a strong female lead, and worked well with Romilly Lunge. Of course, Leslie Banks (Zaroff from The Most Dangerous Game) comes hard with a very sinister presence, and his gang of criminals (none of whom were that memorable) was occasionally fun to watch scheming. I could have done without Gina Malo, who was used primarily for comedic effect, but David Horne had some strong moments here.

What really makes this movie work, and work better, in my opinion, than The Dark Eyes of London (which was also based off an Edgar Wallace novel), is the strong and engaging mystery. There are a decent amount of moving parts you have to pay attention to, but I don’t think it even gets too bogged down or convoluted, and I think the answers we get toward the end were, while perhaps not too surprising, perfectly welcomed.

The action sequences, from a fist-fight between a masked man and a police officer to a criminal literally getting a rug pulled out from under him (such a classy move), were all pretty solid. Even toward the end, when the last antagonist standing gets trapped in the oddest iron maiden (“Iron Maiden? Excellent!”), there were some pretty tense moments.

While it’s unlikely to become a favorite unless you’ve some nostalgic connection to it, The Door with Seven Locks still hits many of the right spots, and if you’re a fan of these types of movies, it may be worth checking out.

7/10

Sea Fever (2019)

Directed by Neasa Hardiman [Other horror films: N/A]

I forget when I first heard about Sea Fever, but from the beginning, I was intrigued. It was partially the poster, partially the title font, and of course, the plot sounded like it had potential. Well, the movie isn’t amazing, but I did find it quite decent, and personally, I found a mostly solid movie.

Never having heard of any of the actors or actresses here, I was impressed by just how quality some of them were, especially Hermione Corfield. She may be younger than me by a month and a half, but boy, what a stellar performance. I actually rather liked her anti-social character, and got a kick out of her being thrown in a situation where she had to interact with others, despite her utter disinterest in doing so.

Of course, most of the cast is strong – though I don’t know the names, the performances by individuals such as Jack Hickey, Dougray Scott, Connie Nielsen, Ardalan Esmaili, and Olwen Fouéré were all worth seeing. It’s also nice that we got a decent amount of personality from each of these characters, which isn’t always a given with movies featuring a smaller cast.

It is true that the story itself isn’t altogether that amazing, but I do think aspects here are there are well-done, such as Corfield’s character diving beneath the trawler and seeing quite a terrifying creature (one of only two full appearances, which is something else I appreciated – they didn’t overdo it), or the argument her character gets in with the others about quarantining themselves off.

As far as violence goes, there’s really only one scene that’s worth talking about, but I think it’s quite a great scene. Of course, any scene that has eyes bursting has to be quality, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

Oh, and during the ending credits, they played a totally thematically appropriate song titled “Shallows” by Daughter. I know Daughter only from a Sound Melody remix of the song “Medicine,” so I’m not really familiar with their untouched music, but this song was a fantastic way to close out the movie, and it’s somber and dark sound fit really well with the conclusion here.

For a movie that doesn’t possess a whole lot of originality, Sea Fever had a strong presence. Partially it’s from the fleshed out characters, and partially it’s due to really nice cinematography and a unique setting, and though it’s not a great movie, and maybe you can see the ending coming long before the movie ends, it was still a pretty fun ride, and I’d suggest giving it a chance if it sounds like it could be your type of thing.

7.5/10

The Dark Eyes of London (1939)

Directed by Walter Summers [Other horror films: Chamber of Horrors (1929)]

Perhaps better known under the title The Human Monster, this British horror film from the late 1930’s certainly possesses some interesting ideas, and even a few decently thrilling scenes, but I don’t think it’s enough to really stand out amongst the other films that were coming out around the same time.

Certainly Bela Lugosi (Dracula, Mark of the Vampire, The Devil Bat) gave a great performance, and his character Dr. Orloff even had a sort of surprising development toward the end, but his good performance, and the solid performances of others, wasn’t really enough to pull the story past the finish line.

Hugh Williams made for a somewhat generic lead. I didn’t have an issue with him, but he struck me as somewhat uninspired. That’s not quite as bad as Edmond Ryan’s character, though, who was pretty much only here to crack jokes, which has it’s place, but I never felt his character really deserved to be there. Greta Gynt was as solid as any other leading actress of the time, and Wilfred Walter was pretty good as a hulking, deformed menace.

At times, the plot does seem a bit muddled, what with a bunch of insurance policies, underwriters, and potential forgeries going on, but once the movie got going, it got going, and we got some good scenes, such as a man being drowned in his bathtub, another man getting electrodes shoved into his ears (this was off-screen, of course, but we did hear the scream), and a great donnybrook at the end with deadly consequences.

The movie isn’t without it’s charm. A lot of this comes from Lugosi, who is just fun here, and some of it comes from the fact the film’s British (a scene toward the end, with a police car racing to help a damsel in distress, was cool, as it was a first-person view, swerving in-and-out of double-decker buses), but the charm alone, even with the memorable scenes, don’t save it.

I still think that, if you’re a fan of classic horror, The Dark Eyes of London is worth a shot, but I do think there are better movies from around the same time, such as The Face at the Window or The Devil Bat, and this just ends up rather forgettable.

6/10

Torture Garden (1967)

Directed by Freddie Francis [Other horror films: The Brain (1962), The Day of the Triffids (1963), Paranoiac (1963), Nightmare (1964), The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Hysteria (1965), The Skull (1965), The Psychopath (1966), The Deadly Bees (1966), They Came from Beyond Space (1967), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly (1970), Trog (1970), Gebissen wird nur nachts – das Happening der Vampire (1971), Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973), Son of Dracula (1973), Tales That Witness Madness (1973), Craze (1974), Legend of the Werewolf (1975), The Ghoul (1975), The Doctor and the Devils (1985), Dark Tower (1989)]

Amicus’ second anthology horror film (following 1965’s Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors), Torture Garden is a film I’ve seen once before, but didn’t particularly care for. Seeing it again does confirm, to me, at least, that it’s one of the weakest of Amicus’ anthologies that I’ve seen.

I find the framing story as fun as any other, and the route it takes, while predictable, is still fun, but none of the four stories throughout the film really interest me. No doubt that two of them (‘Terror Over Hollywood’ and ‘The Man Who Collected Poe’) had potential, but I don’t feel either one was necessarily executed that well. Of the four, I guess I’d say that ‘The Man Who Collected Poe’ was the best, but really, all four of these felt somewhat underwhelming, especially compared to Amicus’ later entities, such as Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror.

The first and third stories (‘Enoch’ and ‘Mr. Steinway,’ respectively) had their own issues – for ‘Enoch,’ it just felt sort of been-there done-that, and ‘Mr. Steinway’ felt undercooked (and that ridiculous ending, while almost fun, just felt, well, ridiculous), and while some performances stood out in each (Michael Bryant, who later starred in The Stone Tape, for ‘Enoch,’ and John Standing, later in Nightflyers, for ‘Mr. Steinway’), these stories felt weak in ways that reminded me of another weak Amicus outing, being their final anthology, From Beyond the Grave.

Good performances are common throughout the film, of course. Jack Palance (Man in the Attic, Alone in the Dark, and Without Warning) was somewhat enjoyable, though his character’s personality threw me off. Of course, Peter Cushing is always a joy to see, no matter how flawed the particular story was. Others that are worth a mention include Robert Hutton (The Slime People), John Phillips (The Mummy’s Shroud), Michael Ripper (who was in The Mummy along with quite a few other Hammer outings), and of course the enjoyably hammy Burgess Meredith (who I primarily know from the Batman series, but was also in Burnt Offerings and Magic).

Of course, worth-while performances can only go so far if their stories don’t do them justice, and I don’t think any of these really did, aside from maybe Meredith’s role in the framing story (though even that edit cut toward the end just felt poorly done). Little in any of the stories aside from wasted potential stuck me as memorable (especially ‘Terror Over Hollywood,’ which I really think could have been interesting in a Michael Crichton way), but aside from the framing story, which threw in a surprise or two, nothing here is going to stick with me.

Naturally, being a big fan of some of Amicus’ later work, this doesn’t give me pleasure to admit, but I found this even weaker than the aforementioned From Beyond the Grave, if only because one of those stories was actually about average. As of this writing, the only Amicus anthology I’ve not seen is Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, but as that’s the first of this kind, I’m definitely hoping for a little more out of that one. As for Torture Garden, despite some quality performances (Meredith, Cushing, and Palance alone had quality star power), I just don’t think it did that much right.

5/10

Nothing But the Night (1973)

Directed by Peter Sasdy [Other horror films: Journey Into Darkness (1968, segment ‘The New People’), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), Countess Dracula (1971), Hands of the Ripper (1971), Doomwatch (1972), The Stone Tape (1972), I Don’t Want to Be Born (1975), Witchcraft (1992)]

Based on the 1968 novel of the same name by John Blackburn, this British film can be quite engaging at times, but I think that some elements hold it back, such as the conclusion and the eventual answer to some of the questions the ongoings in the movie put forward.

Certainly anytime that Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing share a scene, it’s a good time (previous to this film, they appeared together in movies such as The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Mummy, The Gorgon, Night of the Big Heat, I, Monster, Dracula A.D. 1972, and Horror Express), and that’s no different here. I’ve always personally preferred Cushing, but both of these actors put in great performances here, story issues aside.

Save those two, it’s hard to really point to anyone else that stands out. Georgia Brown (who later appeared in a segment of Tales That Witness Madness) was decent, but I didn’t think the finale really gave her character a lot to do. I didn’t love Diana Dors (Craze and Berserk) character, but she also did okay. Despite his short time on-screen, Keith Barron was reasonably solid, and of mild interest, though he’s difficult to pick out, Michael Gambon appears in a few scenes also.

If the movie could survive from solid performances alone, we might be talking about an early 70’s classic, but unfortunately some story elements suffer here. I definitely enjoyed the mystery that they had going on, and I did enjoy some things about the finale (which almost felt like The Wicker Man, though nowhere near as epic or memorable), but the solution to the mystery just didn’t interest me that much, and there’s also a bit of over-explanation toward the end by an antagonist, and it just felt off. One of the final scenes is great, but it’s not a flawless ride getting there.

Of course, being the sheltered American lad that I am, I enjoyed the British and Scottish accents and countryside, and though I didn’t care that much for the film overall (which is, on a side-note, about the same reaction I had to this one the first time I saw it some years ago), it still has that British charm to it, which may not amount to much when it comes to rating, but it was something that I appreciated.

Generally, I think that Nothing But the Night is okay. Below average, no doubt, but still worth seeking out if, at the very least, you’re a fan of Cushing or Lee (or the pair of them together). For me, I didn’t dig where the story went, and I think to an extent, things fell apart a little toward the end, but it’s not a movie that I’d never give another chance to, if only for the names involved.

6/10

Scream for Help (1984)

Directed by Michael Winner [Other horror films: The Nightcomers (1971), The Sentinel (1977)]

Scream for Help is a movie that I’ve only seen once before, and honestly, a movie that I remembered very little of. Pretty much when it came to mind, I just thought of it as the spiritual prequel to The Stepfather (not unlike how I think of 1985’s Blackout). In truth, this really can stand up on its own, because while it’s not an amazing movie, I definitely think a lot was done well.

Problematically, much of the first half deals with a lot of melodrama, what with a step-father’s affair being found out by his step-daughter, and while I can get the emotional upheaval this would cause the family, it’s not always the most engrossing stuff.

Again, though, there’s still decent scenes here, such as the somewhat surprising and intense hit and run that happens quite early into the film. No doubt too there’s tension at different portions of the opening, and while things don’t really pick up until the final thirty minutes, there’s plenty of things going on that are likely to keep your interest.

What sort of interested me was how the story also largely dealt with a teen girl’s coming-of-age, in a way. Over the course of the film, she experiences her first love and experiences her first love-making, and of course love saves them all in the end. Of course, it also led to most of their problems in the first place, but like most teenagers, it’s a confusing time for us all.

Rachel Kelly was pretty convincing as a teenager naive in the ways of lust. I mean, no doubt was her character occasionally ridiculously melodramatic, but she was pretty fun, and she possessed quality strength. Her mother, played by Marie Masters, didn’t interest me as much, but she still did decent enough. Forgettable also was Corey Parker, but I loved how his character, the very day after his girlfriend dies, gets with the girlfriend’s best friend, so a quality example of man.

Speaking of which, while his girlfriend, played by Sandra Clark, didn’t last that long, she was still pretty decent, which was a bit of a surprise given that this was her sole role in anything. David Allen Brooks (who pops up much later in Jack Frost 2) was pretty good here, and Rocco Sisto was even better, but Lolita Lesheim (who provided a bit of nudity) was just okay. Still, decent performances from most of the central cast, especially Rachel Kelly.

While traditional horror scenes were a bit light at times (and the finale felt far more thriller than it did horror), there were a few here and there, and like I said, plenty of tension throughout the whole of the film. Also, there was a kick-ass explosion at the end, which was pretty cool, and while the electrocution wasn’t up to par, it was still fun given the character in question who was electrocuted deserved it.

A lot could be said for the idea that this movie feels far more like a coming-of-age thriller than it does the pure horror movie that you might hope it’d be, and I can certainly see it, to an extent, but no matter what Scream for Help is classified as, I think it’s a movie that has a decent amount going for it, and if you’ve not yet seen it, it may be worth it, even if it’s not amazing.

7/10

White Noise (2005)

Directed by Geoffrey Sax [Other horror films: N/A]

This is a somewhat more-popular film, partially because it stars Michael Keaton, and as such, much like movies such as Hide and Seek (starring Robert De Niro), What Lies Beneath (Harrison Ford) and D-Tox/Eye See You (with Sylvester Stallone), it’s generally forgotten by the horror community nowadays, and for, I think, pretty good reason.

Not that the movie is an extraordinarily poor one – it’s not memorable enough for that. It’s a pretty high-budget film, as you’d imagine (or at least, as you’d imagine as soon as you see that Keaton’s in it), and there’s no doubt that it’s competently-made, but there’s just not enough here to really make it anywhere near a standout film.

Some of this is because the horror is a bit on the lighter side. It’s there, don’t worry about that, but it’s there in the What Lies Beneath-way, and just feels so incredibly safe and tame. On a related note, this film is PG-13, which isn’t by any means damning, but it does show that this wasn’t going to really turn any heads at any point, and it really doesn’t.

I’ll give it credit for Ian McNeice (who in fact reminded me of another actor that I can’t yet place), who give a pretty enjoyable performance in his limited time, and Deborah Kara Unger. I don’t think Unger did a fantastic job here, but I do know her from The Game (1997), so that’s something. Keaton I really only know from the 1989 Batman, and I’m much more a Christian Bale-type of guy, so I couldn’t really care much about Keaton here. His performance is okay, but it’s far from great, which is fine, because the movie doesn’t warrant A+ acting anyway.

Not that the movie is without strong points. While I really don’t care for 90% of the final thirty minutes, I did like the three silhouettes of the evil ghosts (or whatever they were – that’s one of the things I wish they touched on more), and that final setting (a dilapidated factory, with giant holes and rain falling freely into the structure) was on point. Maybe a few other scenes were cool, but as I try to focus in on one, I just hear white noise and can’t complete my thought.

Also, those final three seconds were terrible. Just entirely unnecessary, which is probably intentional, as I feel that a lot of what they did with Unger’s character throughout the film was unnecessary. And speaking of unnecessary, I didn’t much care for that final message from Keaton’s character to his family. It felt like something out of a touching family drama, and a bit out of place.

White Noise isn’t a terrible movie, and I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I think it is. It’s far from a good movie, but it probably accomplishes a lot of what it set out to accomplish. It just wasn’t the type of movie I enjoy, and much of it fell flat for it.

5.5/10

This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss White Noises.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

Directed by Terence Fisher [Other horror films: Three’s Company (1953, episodes ‘The Surgeon’ & ‘ Take a Number’), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959), The Mummy (1959), The Stranglers of Bombay (1959), The Brides of Dracula (1960), The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Horror of It All (1964), The Gorgon (1964), The Earth Dies Screaming (1964), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), Island of Terror (1966), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), Night of the Big Heat (1967), The Devil Rides Out (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)]

The last time I watched this, I made a small mishap, and by that, I mean I watched it the same day as six other adaptations of this Sherlock Holmes story (specifically, the 1914 and 1929 silent films, the 1937 German version, the classic 1939 movie, the 1972 American television movie and the 1983 British television movie), and didn’t try to review the last three until the end of the day, when they all got mixed up in my mind.

So I had to take a step back, accept defeat, and watch this one again (not that it’s any hardship, believe me) in order to properly get my bearings on the film. And I think that I’ve come to a conclusion in doing so: I prefer the 1939 version just a bit, which, given the cast of this Hammer classic, might surprise some.

Now, it’s still a great film, and if you’re interested in some classic Sherlock Holmes, you’d be hard-pressed to find many films better, but I just don’t think that Christopher Lee was the appropriate actor for Henry Baskerville. Lee is, in many ways, an equal to Cushing – both are actors I enjoy immensely. Those cast in the same role in earlier films (such as Peter Voß and especially Richard Greene) had a younger look, whereas Lee is only slightly younger than Cushing, and doesn’t really look it.

My point is that, for the role of Henry Baskerville, I think a younger actor works better. I certainly have no qualms with Lee, and I do rather enjoy his performance in the film. I just don’t think he feels much like the character he’s supposed to be portraying, which is my biggest issue with the film.

Otherwise, the cast is splendid; I loved Basil Rathbone as Holmes, but Peter Cushing is just as good. I think that Rathbone was a bit more fun (for instance, there’s no scene of Holmes trolling Watson while in disguise here), but both are great. André Morell (The Plague of the Zombies, The Mummy’s Shroud, Behemoth the Sea Monster, and The Shadow of the Cat) does decent as Watson. He’s not as bumbling as Nigel Bruce’s, but also not as straight as Fritz Odemar’s rendition.

Marla Landi, playing the daughter of Stapleton (himself played by Ewen Solon) was a nice addition, giving us a character different from what he had before. Ewen Solon (Jack the Ripper) was rather different from what Morton Lowry gave us (when it comes to Stapleton, I think my favorite performance was Fritz Rasp, from the 1929 version). Francis De Wolff (The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll) was solid as Mortimer, Miles Malleson (The Brides of Dracula and Dead of Night) okay comedic relief as the Bishop, and John Le Mesurier made for a good Barrymore (for some reason, the 1939 version of the character was named Barryman, but every other version has been Barrymore).

The color gives a great sense of life to the moors. I don’t know if they ever look quite as creepy as they did in foreboding black-and-white via the 1939 movie, but they do look decent here. Also, the ending of this one is a bit different from previous adaptations – it still worked quite well, and I commend it for trying something a bit different.

One thing I did find somewhat amusing was the absence of the cane scene. Present in both the 1937 and 1939 movies, Holmes looks at Dr. Mortimer’s cane and deduces a great many things about him, an early way to lend credibility to his craft. That scene is indeed replaced here with something else. Another thing – the attempted murder of Baskerville in London – was changed here to instead come from a tarantula bite.

Otherwise, much is the same – there’s Holmes going to Baskerville Hall after others have left, the sub-plot with the escaped convict remains intact, the missing boot of Baskerville, along with a missing painting. If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll find most aspects here.

Another thing you’ll find, at least in small amounts, is some blood. During the opening origin of the curse, a woman gets stabbed with a curved blade (they have curved. blades.), and later on, we see the aftermath of what looks like a ritualistic killing which leaves little to the imagination. It’s Hammer at it’s finest, and it’s all the better that this story finally got made into a color film.

The Hound of the Baskervilles has always been a solid story, and while I prefer the 1939 version, this movie is no slouch. I’d certainly recommend it to fans of classic cinema, and if you’ve not seen either the 1939 version or this one, do yourself a favor and do so.

8/10

The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)

Directed by Piers Haggard [Other horror films: Venom (1981)]

While this British film certainly possesses some elements that are, on the whole, enjoyable, after seeing it twice, I have to admit that it feels somewhat aimless in it’s goal, and though I do enjoy good portions of this, overall, I’m not sure it’s as strong as it could have been.

The rather small setting – a little hamlet in jolly Olde England – works well with this story, and the production is decent enough to give everything a viable enough feeling of that time period. That doesn’t help the movie feel any more focused, but it does ring true, and that counts for a lot given this is a period piece.

I think much of the meandering tone can be best explained by the fact that originally, the movie was supposed to be three separate stories, an idea that was dropped to just a singular story, but I get the sense that, while things are still connected, they didn’t entirely lose that original mindset. And in a way, this is sort of unique, but even so, it doesn’t always make for the most enjoyable viewing experience.

Patrick Wymark (The Skull and The Psychopath) takes a little to grow on me, but he eventually does, especially when he comes back toward the finale. Linda Hayden (of Taste the Blood of Dracula and Madhouse) was fun to see anytime she was on-screen. Not too many others stood out, though, aside from perhaps Simon Williams (of Remembrance of the Daleks, perhaps on of Sylvester McCoy’s most memorable stories during his stint as the Doctor) and James Hayter.

The special effects, when they pop up, are decent. You get some quality claws, a dismembered hand, and a few other surprises, but despite the title of the film, it’s not as though there’s a lot of gore to be had here. Think any average Hammer movie, and that’s pretty much what you’re in for (though to be clear, this is from Tigon).

The Blood on Satan’s Claw isn’t a bad movie, and those in the horror community know that it’s generally well-respected. It’s a movie I’ve seen twice now, though, and as much as I wish I could like it more, elements just fall flat for me, and the quasi-disjointed nature of the story irks me. It’s not bad for a watch every five years, maybe, but it’s far from a preferred 70’s film of mine.

6/10

Weaverfish (2013)

Directed by Harrison Wall [Other horror films: N/A]

Ever since I heard the basic plot of this film (teens are infected by a virus and try to survive), I was intrigued. Part of it is because I’ve always wanted to see a serious take on this type of story (my dislike of Cabin Fever not being a surprise to many), and also, due to the film being British, I thought that’d add a little flavor. All-in-all, Weaverfish is a decent movie, but I think it could have been tightened up a bit, and it doesn’t end up an amazing watch.

I can appreciate the somber attitude the film possesses, though. At times, it’s almost naturalistic in it’s sluggish set-up – nothing overly horror even happens until maybe 45 minutes in. It gives us time to get to know some of these characters, which is a good thing, but it can feel quite slow, and doesn’t really pick up until the final twenty minutes. And throughout it all, it’s just a dreary, downbeat movie.

One element of the film is a bit different, being the narration. The main character has snippets of dialogue he speaks first-hand, as if he’s telling a story (example being “Matt will never know how lucky he is to have a girl like Charlotte Menary. Maybe she won’t know it either”). At worst, it can feel a little pretentious, but I sort of like the effect. Some of the dialogue can be a bit dramatic, and maybe other parts could feel awkward, but I don’t think it’s too negatively distracting in any case.

Another aspect, which can feel a bit daunting, is the amount of characters here. Granted, half of them aren’t important, but we’re basically thrown into a situation in which characters get little-to-no introduction, and for the first thirty minutes, you’re trying to figure out the pre-existing relationships these characters have. With ten names and faces (Reece, Shannon, Matt, Charlotte, Abby, Gavin, Mike, Kayleigh, Jo, and Chris) to try to keep track of, it can be a bit annoying.

I think the story is quite decent, though, sluggish portions aside. While having a party on a long-forbidden beach (years in the past, a boy went missing, and the lake and surrounding land have been cordoned off ever since), a sort of bacterial virus from the water gets many of those present sick. Throw in some background story of a defunct oil plant and some empty barrels of chemicals, and you have a fun time. Now, nothing is firmly stated come the end (partially because the film ends in a somewhat open manner), but the mysterious people hunting the infected kids down is still fun.

Shane O’Meara wasn’t the most emotive lead, but his narration grew on me, and he was probably one of the better characters in the film. Josh Ockenden did pretty good as a crappy character to begin with, but one who gets better as the film goes on. Lucy-Jane Quinlan was stable throughout, as were most of the rest of the cast, being John Doughty, Ripeka Templeton, Jessie Morell, and Duncan Casey, the best being probably Templeton and Doughty.

We do get some nice scenes toward the end, which were suitably creepy, but what’s even better about the ending is the fact we get a small flashback, showing the formation of Reece and Charlotte’s friendship. It’s a little scene, to be sure, but it packs decent emotion, and seemed to help the film end on the same somber note it’d held since the opening.

For many people, I suspect Weaverfish is just too slow to maintain full interest, but I personally dug it. It’s not a movie I’d revisit too often, but I do think it’s pros far outweigh it’s cons, so if you’re in the mood for something a bit more character-driven, this British film might be worth checking out.

7.5/10