Charisma Carpenter (yeah, she'll always be Cordelia from Buffy) plays a successful crime/horror novelist recovering from a mental breakdown. To aid her recovery she's left California for an old English country house and estate.
Things aren't going all that smoothly though. Almost as soon as she steps foot inside the house she begins to see visions; of the estate staff and of violent events from the past - the brutal slaying of environmental activists (shown in the film's prologue).
Structurally this film is very similar to the Hammer House of Horror films of the 1950s through 1980s. And it has the same low budget, high pretensions mix of the best Hammer movies. But what it lacks is any real charm. Hammer movies are endearing. They overcome their amateurish production levels by having some damn fine scripts and acting. No such luck here I'm afraid.
There's a definite feeling of certain elements (mainly the sexual ones) being shoehorned in, in an attempt to shock. They fail - big time. Let's face it not many people, happy enough to put a horror film in their DVD player, will be even slightly perturbed by the sight of male genitalia.
And with the exception of Carpenter who does a reasonable passable job as the disturbed writer, none of the acting here is memorable whatsoever. It's a pity. I had high hopes.
I should have paid attention to the quote on the DVD cover - "The best thriller to come out of England in the last decade". Such comments are usually portents of drivel.
Page updated 7 March, 2011