5.3/10
4,426
41 user 17 critic

Altar (2014)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery | 17 February 2015 (USA)
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A young family move to an isolated house which the wife has been hired to restore, only to discover that the previous owner is reputed to have murdered his wife.

Director:

Nick Willing

Writer:

Nick Willing
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Cast

Cast overview:
Olivia Williams ... Meg Hamilton
Matthew Modine ... Alec Hamilton
Antonia Clarke Antonia Clarke ... Penny Hamilton
Adam Thomas Wright ... Harper Hamilton
Richard Dillane ... Greg
Howard Lee Howard Lee ... Frank
Jonathan Jaynes ... Sean Donnelly
Rebecca Calder ... Isabella
Steve Oram ... Nigel Lean
David J. Peel ... Telephone Engineer (as David Peel)
Mark Heenehan ... Brad Mason
Stephen Chance ... Charles Kendrick Walker
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Storyline

The Hamilton family move into a large country house on the Yorkshire Moors to supervise its restoration from a dilapidated B&B to the original Victorian grandeur. When Meg Hamilton, wife, mother and renovation expert first loses her London team after an accident, then a local Yorkshire team too superstitious to continue, she's forced to carry on alone. The discovery of a secret attic room, a Rosicrucian mosaic, a bricked up root cellar and many other unexplainable events gradually convince Meg, her husband Alec and children Penny and Harper, that they're not only restoring the house, but also its original Victorian owners who died 150 years ago. But before they can escape, the house - and its former occupants - force them to spend one last, terrifying night under its roof. Written by India Andrews

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Altar - Das Portal zur Hölle See more »

Filming Locations:

Yorkshire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was funded via Kickstarter. See more »

Goofs

When she cannot open the door to Penny's room, Meg tells Penny that she does not have a key. However, when they are talking about the incident later, Meg says that there is no key for the door. See more »

Connections

References The Shining (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Westminster Quarters
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Average, unless you factor in the waste of a near-perfect location
21 April 2015 | by hilbertjlSee all my reviews

I love a good ghost story. I practically worship a great ghost story. Sadly, Altar is neither. It has its moments, and it's not a complete waste of time to watch, but in my opinion it started with all the makings of a truly interesting story and mixed it all up into a batch of...mixed up.

The true star of the film is its Yorkshire manor location. Now, if I'd been handed this set to work with (and if I, you know, actually made movies), Altar is NOT the story I'd have come up with. I actually felt a bit annoyed at the movie for not living up to such a classic haunted house setting! The premise was simple enough, and it started out in fairly contemporary spooky fashion, but there was just not the right kind of follow through. Rather than spine tingles and after-view thoughts about mortality, the climax delivered only a mash-up of effects and incoherent, half-explored themes.

I will say this: the actors who played the children did great. Williams did fine in her role, and even Modine did the best he could with what he was given (his character was the biggest mess in the mix, with some truly uncomfortable scenes - and not in a horror/mystery sort of way).

Generally, you could do a lot worse for your hour and a half, but if you want a great haunted house / ghost story, look elsewhere. It's been done a thousand times better at least hundreds of times already.


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