Like science fiction films, horror movies got their start as low budget genre flicks that attracted a very specific type of audience. Over the years however horror movies became a huge attraction, and while they still attracted a specific audience, some got bigger budgets to work with. Lower budget horror movies still exist however, and some are well worth the time to watch. Campton Manor unfortunately isn’t one of them.
Teddy (Shawn Roberts, xXx: Return of Xander Cage) can see the dead. Not just see them, but talk to them, and interact with them. Throughout his life he’s used his particular set of skills to further his career as an author/spiritualist. He investigated haunted houses and writing fictionalized versions of what he experiences. After a visit from a spirit named Jack (Jason London, Weekend Warriors), Teddy decides to investigate Campton Manor. That’s the site of several unexplained deaths during a New Years celebration several years earlier. Unfortunately for Teddy, he may be no match for the truth of what happened. And the truth may end up driving him insane instead.
There is no problem with low budget horror movies, if they have a strong enough story to sustain them. For example, The Blair Witch Project and A Ghost Story had extremely small budgets, and yet, the crew in those movies knew what to do with those budgets. Unfortunately for Campton Manor, the story continually pushes towards a big plot twist from the very beginning. Audiences shouldn’t be able to see plot twists coming, but in this case it was very obvious that they were.
To make matters worse, the story has so many holes in it it, and there are characters who don’t need to be there. These characters muddle up the plot, making the movie more confusing than they need to be. The majority of the film has very little action in it as well, which makes it very slow and boring. The leads, played by Roberts and London, have no personality, making it hard to get behind them or even like them. Campton Manor tells a story that could have been told in under 30 minutes, but even then it would have offered nothing new that anyone would want to watch.
The one thing Campton Manor has going for it is the atmosphere. The building is old and spooky, there is the right amount of lighting, or lack there of when needed. This makes you continually hope something is going to scare the hell out of you. Unfortunately nothing ever does. And you spend more time looking at your watch than paying attention to the mundane story. Director Cat Hostick is responsible for better work. That work includes directing five episodes of Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life for which he received a Canadian Screen Awards nomination. So let’s hope this was just a one off that she can call a mulligan for.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Horror, Thriller
- Directed by: Cat Hostick
- Starring: Jason London, Julian Richings, Kenneth Welsh |, Shawn Roberts, Siobhan Bolton
- Produced by: Michael Godfrey, Russ De Jong, Stephen Wallis, Susan Ilott
- Written by: Stephen Wallis
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