Plot: Not much happens in Iowa, so even hundred year old murders tend to be quite the hot topic for discussion. In 1912, a series of brutal axe murders left a family slaughtered and if you believe the local legends, the house where the murders took place has been haunted ever since. You can tour the house and soak in all the bad vibes if you want, which is what brings friends Caleb (Robert Adamson) and Denny (Jarrett Sleeper) into the house. The two have an online show where they discuss hauntings and paranormal happenings, but since Caleb is moving soon, this is their grand finale. The two are joined on the tour by Jess (Alex Frnka), a girl from Caleb’s school that he defended against a couple of bullies. The tour winds up being quite dull and ends early thanks to Jess crossing the velvet ropes, but the trio hasn’t given up on getting a good video. The plan is to sneak into the house after dark, film the rooms the tour doesn’t allow entrance to and end their series on a high note. But between the bullies tracking them down for revenge and the spirits within the house, can the trio survive the night?
Entertainment Value: The title here might conjure up visuals of a slasher on the loose, but in truth, this one is more of a ghost story. An infamous murder house is explored by some friends at night, as the spirits begin to ramp up and some local bullies close in to settle the score with the friends. There’s also a lot of melodrama, as the friends have their various issues, from leaving to start over to dealing with the fallout of a private video being leaked online. These subplots are never really fully woven into the main plot, so they’re more filler than enhancements. Toward the end, the movie ties in those personal stories somewhat, but not to a satisfying level. When the movie focuses on the ghosts and the past of the house, it works well, but when it shifts to the more personal stories, it begins to fall apart. It does have some creepy moments, with a focus on jump scares and ghostly images. The house itself is pretty eerie too, especially when the movie is bathed in shadows and darkness throughout. So good atmosphere and visuals, which are much needed in a film of this kind. The cast is fine, but no one really stands out much, just solid performances. If you’re a fan of teen horror or ghost stories, this one is worth a spin.
No nakedness. There’s numerous references to “sticky fingers” and a leaked sex video, but nothing comes to visual fruition. The same holds true for the blood quotient, as most of the violence happens off screen. A couple scenes have a little bloodshed and those look good, but otherwise, all the crimson flows out of our eyesight. The ghosts look cool and the little kid is like a living creepy doll, so that is fun. The tone of the movie is serious and dark, so dialogue isn’t often campy or over the top. This is good for those who prefer that more serious approach, but it leaves us with mostly forgettable lines. A possessed Jess does try to seduce Denny by telling him that he can pretend she’s Caleb, which was a good line. As far as craziness, it is always fun to have Sean Whalen smiling that creepy as hell smile, but that’s as wild as this one gets. The serious tone prevents further wackiness, but at least we have Whalen, right?
Overall Insanity: 1/10