Lisa Templeton begins a new job as a cleaner at High Hopes Hospital, a mental institution in Amityville, Long Island. Initially delighted to get the job, Lisa soon realises that all is not as it seems.
The abandoned home of Wilfred Butler, a wealthy but troubled man who committed suicide, has been willed to his grandson, Jeffrey. But an Axe wielding maniac has set up residence in the house - and he doesn't take kindly to strangers.
Prepare for a unique concoction of murder and mayhem as we take to the stage with the Moreau Family, a band of twisted misfits who travel around the UK performing a sinister variety act for unsuspecting audiences. Leave your inhibitions at the door and open your mind to an experience unlike any other as you witness one of the most bizarre crime sprees in the annals of British history. As the twisted family unleash their surreal brand of carnage, vengeful hit man Duke Enright is hot on their trail, determined to bring their show to a close.Written by
North Bank Entertainment
Was drawn into seeing 'Theatre of Fear', with a cool poster/cover, an intriguing though far from original premise and as someone with a general appreciation for the genre it fits under. That it was low-budget, which from frequent personal experience is rarely a good sign due to that there are so many poor ones out there (though there are decent to good ones as well), made me though apprehensive.
It is sadly however yet another film seen recently, hence some reiteration because the exact same strengths and flaws present in those films are here, that to me was incredibly disappointing considering its potential which it doesn't do anywhere near enough with. 'Theatre of Fear' is really very weak, with its infrequent decent points but with so many huge flaws and doesn't do anywhere near enough with its potential, which was quite a good deal. There is very little good here.
'Theatre of Fear' does have an eerie setting and was expecting far worse acting than what is seen here, it's not great still, somewhat over-the-top in spots, but effort to engage with what they're given to work with can be seen. The chemistry is there too and it is more natural than expected.
Going on to the negatives, the story does feel over-stretched and some of it comes over as vague and under-explained in the last third where the film especially became duller, more predictable, more senseless and less unsettled and never gaining momentum. All the characters are too sketchy and with nowhere near enough to make one be properly intrigued by them. There is still frustrating decision making going on but that aspect is definitely done much worse in other low-budget recent viewings, sorry to go on about this asset but it has become a bugbear of mine and difficult to ignore.
Sound quality is obvious and utilised cheaply (being too loud in the build ups and people's reactions) and the effects are laughable.
Dialogue can be stilted and rambling while the pace and film drags on forever, apparent from the very start, never recovering that interest is lost fast. The ending has no build-up and just ends ridiculously. Found too many of the supposedly shocking moments not surprising or scary and the atmosphere dreary, due to the excessive obviousness, a lot of dumb and vague moments and explanations and the lack of tension and suspense. Thrills are none, thanks to stodginess and excessive over-familiarity, and found myself never invested in the drama, which tended to be dully paced and statically directed.
A lot of 'Theatre of Fear' has really dull and going nowhere plot elements and often not so convincing character motivations, while too many of the things to make you shocked are far from creative or unsettling. It all feels rather tame.
Nothing freaky or interesting, no development and too derivative, while everything is unimaginative and are more odd than scary, completely failing to show any sense of dread. There is nothing interesting or illuminating with what the film was trying to do and the drama is overwrought with no momentum and a lot of weirdness. The direction is leaden, got the sense their heart was not in it, and the music is ill-fitting. It is very amateurish visually with its low budget being all too clear, too drearily lit and shows no care in the way it's shot. In this regard only the setting stands out in a halfway decent way.
In summary, weak. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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