The Beacon (2009) Poster

(2009)

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Major Flaws, But Some Bright Spots, Too
gavin694212 September 2011
While trying to get their lives back on track after the loss of their four year old son, Bryn and Paul Shaw move to the charming old Beacon Apartments...

So, you have this film known as "The Beacon" that comes out in 2009. The DVD does not get released until 2011, and then they retitle it "Haunting at the Beacon" (which I actually think is a weaker name). And before the DVD even gets out, they are playing it on Netflix, more or less undermining any reason to be excited about the DVD (if you were).

What would draw someone to this film? I was a bit happy to see Michael Ironside, a horror staple for thirty years, play a small role here. And you might care that this film was made in an allegedly haunted hotel in Texas. That personally meant nothing to me, but fans of "Ghost Hunters" might think otherwise... or maybe you are a fan of Teri Polo from "Meet the Parents"?

The film is a bit of a snoozer, at least for the first half. We have a mom who sees a ghost child and those around her think she is crazy, just having symptoms of guilt from when she let her own child die. The plot is nothing special, it does not come off as very original, and some of the character motivations seem odd (such as the pill-popping cop who follows up on a case for no reason -- and what are her pills?)

The second half is both redeeming and destructive. The pace increases, there is a cool scene with scissors as a set piece (also the best gore of the film). And after a twist or two (which I cannot reveal) the story finally becomes interesting. The problem? We find out after the twist about many, many plot holes. I would love to go through about five of them here, but cannot without revealing the film's secret. Let me just say this movie works best if you do not think about it.

If you like the movie enough to own it, I will tell you that it features an audio commentary, but not much else. That might clear up certainly plot problems, though I doubt it (I must confess I own the disc but have not given it a second viewing yet). My advice is to avoid it or to simply watch on Netflix...
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Pretty Impressive little horror film worthy of a little bit more attention.
Jan Strydom17 November 2010
My friend arrives at my house holding THE BEACON and THE COLLECTOR in his hands and just tells me I should check them out, I knew THE COLLECTOR from the trailer I saw a while back but as for THE BEACON, I was completely blank, I had never heard of this film and yet my friend insist I should check it out.

So I started watching this film and the first thing I noticed was this wasn't a big Hollywood film, it reveals itself as a low budget movie with no attempts to hide it, it had a slow but progressive pace, the acting wasn't bad and has a few rather creepy moments but the real surprise is the ending.

The film turned out to be good after all, I'll admit I was surprised when I discovered this was a DTV film that my friend brought me but I can say it was worth the 90 minutes, although one thing to take into account is this film won't please everyone, as I found with many low budget films like this if the production value isn't up to a certain standard then certain people won't like, to me the production value is decent, I recommend people not necessarily set there standards low but I think keep'em in neutral and discover the film for yourself like I did.

Overall, it was pretty impressive and I think it could use a bit more attention.
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8/10
Gateway to Hell
Claudio Carvalho30 December 2009
The photographer Bryn (Teri Polo) and the astronomer Paul Shaw (David Rees Snell) moves to a small, but cozy one bedroom apartment in the Beacon Apartments in Texas to rebuild their lives. Three years ago, in Halloween, Bryn neglected attention to their son Danny that disappeared, apparently drown in a lake nearby a carnival. Bryn tried to commit suicide and Paul sacrificed his career to support her. In the relocation, the couple is helped by Bryn's sister Christina Wade (Marnette Patterson) that befriends the next door neighbor Will "Ty" Tyler (Nick Sowell). Paul finds a job in the local university and shares his office with the eccentric anthropologist Simon Valencia (Jonny Cruz). Along the days, Bryn has visions and nightmares with a ghostly boy and she decides to investigate how he died and seeks out his father James Nash (Kevin Scott Keating). Meanwhile Paul helps the decadent actress Vanessa Carver (Elaine Hendrix) but does not tell details to his wife. When Bryn discovers that James is also dead, she realizes that she had contacted ghosts in the building and tells Professor Simon, trying to find how to communicate with her diseased son. However, after his research, Simon finds the truth about the Beacon Apartments.

"The Beacon" is a well-constructed horror movie with a great story that recalled me the scary "The Sentinel" (1977). The excellent Teri Polo shines in the dramatic role of a grieving suicidal mother with guilty complex. This is the type of feature based on good direction, screenplay and performances, and the make-up and special effects are effective and used only when necessary. The plot point is totally unexpected, the story is very well resolved and the melancholic music score is wonderful. In the end, the refreshing "The Beacon" was a great surprise that startles and one of the best horror movies that I have seen this year. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Visões" ("Visions")
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5/10
Surprising
This movie was sort of mediocre, but leaning towards being good actually. The story of the movie was quite alright and kind of captivating and interesting. There was a constant and good flow to the story, so you never felt bored or found the movie to be uninteresting.

As for it being a ghost movie? Well, yeah, it is, but not in the traditional sense of a ghost movie. This is sort of one step beyond that, as the ghosts assume corporeal forms, which in itself is kind of interesting to see in a ghost horror movie.

The cast in "The Beacon" was alright, and each brought their characters fairly well to life on the screen. The dialogue could have been better in certain places throughout the movie, but not together all bad though.

The sets, scenery and make-ups were nice and worked well for the movie. However, the ending, well that was a bit too much. Sort of made me laugh actually, because it was so cliché, so typical Hollywood.

Throughout the course of the movie, you are taken for some thrill rides and exposed to some really nice twists to the story as well.

In summary, "The Beacon" is not an overly scary movie, it is more of an interesting ghost movie. Watch it if you like supernatural movies, just don't expect to get scared out of your seat.
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10/10
Excellent movie
Maddie Finch27 March 2013
This movie is a secret gem! I stumbled upon it by accident and it is one of the best haunting movies I have ever seen, and I think I have seen them all. The beginning reads like your run of the mill horror story; a couple, who lost their child, move to a new city to make a fresh start and save their relationship. Things start to go weird and none of the characters stops to think and investigate. But then the story gets more interesting, with excellent acting from David Rees Snell, Elaine Hendrix and Teri Polo. The story moves along nicely without any annoying characters you urgently want to die and without cheap frights making you jump like so many other movies of that genre. The totally unpredictable ending was really good and not your run of the mill, seen before, story. Loved it! Truly haunting!
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2/10
A Beacon of hope? Not!
Siamois14 February 2010
After reading the two reviews here, I was hopeful this would be good. Unfortunately, what I was subjected to was a bunch of clichés and a film that got progressively worse.

First, a little synopsis. A couple move in to an apartment building in order to put the traumatic loss of their child behind them and get their life back on track. Instead, their lives spiral out of control as strange events keep happening.

I've often wondered why the always reliable Teri Polo was always confined to supporting roles. Now I know. Polo stars as Bryn, who can't get over feelings of loss and guilt and she telegraphs and amplifies pretty much every emotion of her character. She's... regrettably bad. The direction and writing by Michael Stokes sure does not help but really, it's inexcusable.

David Rees Snell (a.k.a. that wooden actor who played the quiet of the four detectives in "The Shield) is her co-lead as the husband. Again, a cliché character of the husband courageously trying prevent his couple from sinking and repressing his emotions in the process (probably better that way, as the actor wouldn't be able to show any).

Oh, there's also the cliché sister. She's a hot babe with some of the worse lines and characterization I have seen in a while. Flashing her breasts to the movers one moment, and the next reciting platitudes disguised as pearls of wisdom the next. It's really painful.

Anyways, from the moment they move in, we meet a cast of weird characters. The tenants all have their little quirks and again, the characterization is awful, particularly when the whole plot is taken into account. This movie, mark my words, will have zero replay value because of the various plot holes, many of which are caused by the awful acting on display.

Speaking of the plot, this is your fairly typical ghost story, which means nowadays plot twists that don't really make much sense. These could have made for a watchable film in the hand of a competent director but unfortunately, it's not the case here. As things escalate and the weird happenings become more common, we are subjected to some of the worse makeup effects seen since the 90s. I literally paused and wondered if I was watching a horror movie or a comedy.

There are hundreds of horror movies you should watch but Beacon is not one of them, I would think. Unless you're a hardcore fan of the genre.
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7/10
Crazy plot twists for this Texas-shot horror flick
BornInBigD2 November 2009
Shot mostly at the Roger's Hotel in Waxahachie, Texas (30 miles south of Dallas), this scary flick successfully made me jump... a few times. I also can usually determine the outcome of a given film, but I couldn't have guessed this one at ALL!

The plot centers around a couple who are recovering from the disappearance of their son. They relocate to the Beacon Apartments, only to find that the building appears to be haunted by a young boy (around the same age of their own son who they've lost). From the moment they move in, the wife notices strange things happening around them, but the husband is quick to brush it off. Soon, he realizes that his wife may be telling the truth, after all.

Great movie if you like this genre. I saw it at a sneak peek in Dallas and am not sure about national release. Consider joining their Facebook group so you can find out how to get the film to show in your neighborhood, if interested!
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2/10
I was flabberGHOSTed by this movie!
sidecarsally21 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'd like to start off simply by saying that I think this movie is terrible. In my case, I fell asleep 35 minutes into it last night, and resumed watching it a few hours ago.

When The Beacon was finished, I was filled with so many angry questions about the plot holes and terrible acting, I had to go outside and smoke a cigarette and scream into the night sky.

I actually WANT you to watch this movie, so I can point out some basic flaws that come to mind. Just keep them in mind when watching the film. The following things in The Beacon annoyed me:

1) The woman cop's acting was more painful than getting my nipples pierced. I was wincing at every line she spoke. Try not to turn off the movie until you've seen her final scene. Just Wow.

2) This movie SERIOUSLY does not get interesting until about the last 20 minutes. Until then, the ghost-story clichés were spread all over this plot like butter on a warm roll -- but The Beacon's butter is bad and will give you diarrhea, as it did for me.

3) The LAST 20 minutes of this movie is completely absurd and contradicts the entire story up to that point. I had to re-watch it a few times just to confirm the plot holes. The ironic part is, these aren't really "plot holes" because it uses the "ghosts can do whatever they want whenever they want" formula. Using this formula, filmmakers can create incoherent films that succeed using common scare tactics that make the audience jump and then roll their eyes.

The Beacon is like the Nickelback of ghost story horror films: Most people will probably like it. But if you do, you are probably of a lesser intelligence than me.
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1/10
Shocking
mjodie9421 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie shouldn't be classed as a horror. My husband described it as a comedy. We are massive fans of horrors and have seen a lot and this has to be the worst so far and we have seen some awful films. Too many questions left unanswered and no scary parts in the film. Looked slightly promising at the beginning and just went downhill from there. It's an hour and a half that I will never get back!!!!!!!!

How come everyone could see Vanessa but only Bryn could see the child. Why was the husband able to sleep with Vanessa if she was a ghost?? What happened to.the older cop???

There's more to be asked but can't be bothered reliving it to find out.
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7/10
Enjoyable but flawed effort
GL845 November 2012
After moving into a new apartment building following the disappearance of her son, a woman and her husband find the area's grisly history of suicides is sparking an increase in ghost sightings and that something may be after her.

This one here was a pretty forgettable entry but still has some good stuff about it. One of the main problems is that it's rather predictable from the outset, as nothing really sticks out here as being all that original or unique and it tends to wander down the same exact roads done hundreds of times in these kinds of films, where the woman maybe telling the truth or not and those around her are totally unsupportive. It becomes far more enjoyable during the last half-hour, when a twist comes along that really spices things up and makes the film far more enjoyable, as there's some good hauntings, nice make-up work and more that are highly enjoyable. However, all the Lifetime-style drama not only causes it to be too little too late, it also makes it stick out like a sore-thumb as being inconsistent with the rest of the film as it comes barreling out of nowhere with a ham-fisted introduction to turn it into a horror film. It's still pretty good, but it is flawed.

Rated R: Graphic Violence and Language
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5/10
A Beacon of Mediocrity
trooperjac9 February 2011
After reading the reviews I really wasn't expecting anything from this movie but I had absolutely nothing else to watch. Actually I'm glad I did watch it as there are some nice ol' skool spooky moments in the movie, I would say it's worth a watch on a cold dark night.

Definitely a straight to video movie done on the cheap, the actors were a mixed bag of low level TV actors and failed movie stars. Teri Polo was actually quite good in the lead and was a charming presence. Most of the others were acceptable and a few were just plain awful. The female cop and the landlord stand out as terrible for me but I couldn't decide if it was the actors or the direction at fault.

It gets of to a clichéd start with all the usual creepy happenings. There is some nice photography in a few scenes but it's obvious the production didn't have a large budget. The last 20 minutes turn into some 70s schlock horror B movie with some film school quality make-up effects. Definitely gets to the so bad it's good stage.

The plot didn't make a lot of sense at the end but if you make it that far you won't really care.
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4/10
Predictable and forgettable haunted house chiller
Leofwine_draca9 February 2016
THE HAUNTING AT THE BEACON is a very ordinary ghost story about a grieving family who move into a new and haunted home. The scares are diluted and way too much of the screen time is taken up with lame dialogue, but I suppose as haunted house films go it could be worse. At least the film-makers avoid the usual clichés for the most part, but at the same time they deliver a film in which nothing really happens.

Teri Polo and her on-screen husband play some dull-beyond-belief characters who don't deserve a movie to themselves because they hold zero interest. The only face who raises a smile is that of genre legend Michael Ironside, but sadly he gets very little screen time playing one of a number of cops. One of the notable scare sequences at the climax of the movie makes use of some special effects that had me laugh out loud rather than scared; they look like they belong in an old episode of the MONSTERS TV show rather than a supposedly serious horror flick...
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2/10
Completely uninteresting, poor acting
Ben_teed5 September 2011
I had high hopes for this movie, it has a couple of well known actors and a decent premise but overall it was very disappointing. The movie was predictable and not one bit scary or even creepy, it was a struggle to watch. For any hardcore horror movie fan, the ending will have you rolling you eyes. You can see every startling moment coming from a mile away not only from the music but also the overused look in the mirror then looking back at the mirror and there is a figure there or the camera pans over past the actor/actress to show a ghostly figure in the shadows. Less is more and suspense is everything in a genuinely scary movie, Never give away to much to fast or you will lose the suspense and the films ceases to be scary. Do yourself a favour and skip this bland horror movie.
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5/10
Elaine Hendrix punch to the face!
Paul Celano (chelano)22 September 2011
The film really did have a good creepy feel to it. It can leave the viewer feeling somewhat scared and it does get better near the end. The movie is also very suspenseful and leaves you waiting till the very end to see what the heck is going on. All the acting was pretty good, especially from Teri Polo who had the main role. Most of the story seemed to fit but certain things were placed in the film that really didn't need to be there. One scene had to do with Marnette Patterson's character near the end. Also there was about two or so minutes at the end of the movie that didn't need to be there. They couldn't of stopped at one point, but they had to take it just a little farther and to me it seemed like it almost ruined it. The film was decent but I did want more out of the scare factor.
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