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The Axe Murders of Villisca (2016)

Not Rated | | Horror | 5 May 2017 (Mexico)
1:47 | Trailer

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'The Axe Murders of Villisca' is a ghost story based on the house where the notorious and still unsolved 1912 axe murders took place. Three outcast teenagers break into the house in search of answers, but discover something far beyond their worst fears.


Tony E. Valenzuela


Kevin Abrams (story), Owen Egerton | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Adamson ... Caleb
Jarrett Sleeper Jarrett Sleeper ... Denny
Alex Frnka ... Jess
Sean Whalen ... Reverend Kelly
Conchata Ferrell ... Mrs. Flanks
Riley Bodenstab ... Connor
Kellan Rhude ... Rob
Madison Lawlor ... Lena
Ava Kolker ... Ingrid
Jon Gries ... Greg
Brett Rickaby ... Caleb's Father
Urs Inauen ... Matt
Savannah Stehlin ... Elsie Holloway
Sophia Linkletter ... Priscilla Connolly
Joey Graceffa ... Most Haunted Host


'The Axe Murders of Villisca' is a ghost story based on the house where the notorious and still unsolved 1912 axe murders took place. Three outcast teenagers break into the house in search of answers, but discover something far beyond their worst fears.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In 1912, Eight People Were Brutally Murdered in Their House. This House.




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

5 May 2017 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Villisca See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ketchum Labs See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Was a bigger theatrical success in Mexico than in the United States where it played in over 29 cities by cinema chains Cinèpolis and Cinemex. It was released under the title La Maldición de Villisca (The Curse of Villisca). See more »


The song "Paper Doll" is played repeatedly throughout the movie, and first heard in the opening scene which takes place in 1912. The song, however, was not written until 1915 (and not recorded until later). See more »


Mrs. Flanks: Life is about the choices we make and we have to do our best to make the good ones, otherwise we get stuck living in the bad ones.
See more »


Ancients Arise
Lyrics by Tony E. Valenzuela
Music by Brandon Roberts
Performed by Tony E. Valenzuela
See more »

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User Reviews

A Response from An Interested Party
4 July 2017 | by navarre_2See all my reviews

Full disclosure: I'm not just any old audience member for this picture. I've also worked on a Villisca-related project, co-writing, directing and appearing in one entitled "Haunting Villisca." Ours was far rougher than this one, from a production standpoint (I suspect we had a small fraction of this one's budget) and, sadly, we did no better with reviewers.

My own reaction to this one is. . .frustration and bewilderment. I don't care for the picture but I wouldn't, regardless of whether or not I myself had made one. It's lodged very uncomfortably in a very small space: true crime meets paranormal activity meets teen slasher flick. Finding the intersection of those circles is going to be dicey work indeed and, having attempted something like it, we may have to admit that it cannot be done at all.

The picture isn't all bad - some elements are exceedingly well-done - but the more important point, to me, is that the case has not attracted and given rise to the sort of high-achieving work we who are familiar with it believe could be produced.

What's the problem? I wish I knew. I've often described the case as an itch between the shoulder blades, the itch that takes up residence in that one insanely inaccessible spot. You feel you'll go mad if you can't somehow deal with it. So you write a book, you write a song, you make a movie. They're all undertaken with the best of intentions, and they all fall short (Roy Marshall's book, "Villisca," comes the closest to fullness, combining a law officer's obsession over evidence with a folksy charm that lifts the endeavor onto a higher plane, one approaching "art.")

No, I don't like this movie very much. Then again, I don't like ANY of them - my own included - very much. The dragon of history sleeps soundly still; he's not been prodded sufficiently into yielding up his treasure. Someday, perhaps.

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