Johnny Petrie learns on his 18th birthday that he was adopted after inheriting a farm in Maine. Eager to start a new life, Johnny leaves home so he can began afresh in this "new" dwelling. H... Read allJohnny Petrie learns on his 18th birthday that he was adopted after inheriting a farm in Maine. Eager to start a new life, Johnny leaves home so he can began afresh in this "new" dwelling. However, Johnny soon discovers that the farm, which has been abandoned for eighteen years s... Read allJohnny Petrie learns on his 18th birthday that he was adopted after inheriting a farm in Maine. Eager to start a new life, Johnny leaves home so he can began afresh in this "new" dwelling. However, Johnny soon discovers that the farm, which has been abandoned for eighteen years since his natural family died, harbors a horrifying history about the deaths of said natura... Read all
Dead Souls is one of those types of films.
From the outset, the screenwriter, John Doolan, does a good job of creating mystery while giving you tension. Everything appears fine in the Conroy family. Fathers hard at work in the barn. Mother is singing to her newborn. The teen daughter is in her bedroom listening to music. The younger brother is to-and-froing on the swing in the garden. Life seems blissful if a little impoverished. But as the minutes' tick by you notice mother is sick and father's work is darker than you expected... something isn't right in this Conroy household.
But in this little opening section, you can see where the deteriorations in the strength of the movie will come. The Direction.
Colin Theys is good at the action sequences but the building of atmosphere is not one of his strong points. The tension comes from the story and the strange happenings rather than camera and audio techniques. Though the ritual towards the end of the story is effective. Theys utilises his action style to help ramp up the tension and create a sense of urgency as the stereo chimes out the clock gongs.
The principal aspect that strengthens this film the most is the story. Which I have to say, is based on a novel by Michael Laimo. A novel that's now on my wishlist. I find screenplays from novels tend to have more power and strength, especially in horror now it's become overfilled with, "Hey! I've had a good idea for a film," writers and directors. The trouble with writer-director's is they are usually good at only one of those jobs; very seldom are they good at both. I don't know how closely the film follows the book so I'll give credit to both Laimo and Doolan for the build-up to the film's crescendo ending. I loved the ending, though I did guess the outcome, it's still expertly handled by all.
Lastly to the acting. Mostly it's above average. However, there is one person who lets the team down a little. Noah Fleiss as Mack is about as wooden as an actor can get. I get the feeling, at times, that he'd rather not be there. It's when the possessions begin that he could have come into his own by taking the mannerisms of the person possessing him. However, he just comes across as awkward.
On the whole, this is an average little ghost story nicely told. There's nothing new or exciting about the film but it is enjoyable and a nice flick to cuddle up with. Worth one watch at least - If you've already watched it then check out my lists for new ideas for your viewing pleasure...
- Aug 18, 2019