A young family moves 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.


Nick Willing


Nick Willing





Cast overview:
Olivia Williams ... Meg Hamilton
Matthew Modine ... Alec Hamilton
Antonia Clarke ... Penny Hamilton
Adam Thomas Wright ... Harper Hamilton
Richard Dillane ... Greg
Howard Lee Howard Lee ... Frank
Jonathan Jaynes 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 Stephen Chance ... Charles Kendrick Walker


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


Horror | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


When first shown on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, the film's title was Haunting of Radcliffe House. See more »


Meg discovers a hidden passageway in the house of which she has no prior knowledge. However, as a renovator, she would need to have detailed knowledge of the building plans. In fact, even the man who initially agrees to help her is aware of the passageway while she is not. See more »


References Ghost Whisperer (2005) See more »


Westminster Quarters
See more »

User Reviews

Ghost story which borrows heavily
27 December 2014 | by btraishSee all my reviews

The Altar is a ghost story in the classic tradition. Meg (Olivia Williams), Alec (Matthew Modine) and their children move in to a decrepit Yorkshire mansion whilst Meg restores it for the owner. Over the next couple of months the haunted nature of the house becomes apparent, with the usual banging sounds, slamming doors and ethereal appearances. Most of the film relies heavily on Olivia Williams and she does an OK job, with Matthew Modine limping in towards the end.

Undoubtedly, the film borrows heavily from other ghost and spirit films, most notably The Shining, but it was almost like playing bingo, identifying tropes from other films as it progressed, such as The Exorcist, Don't Look Now, etc. The TV movie feel and austere feel of the grand old house give a 1970s drama feel to the film. Some may associated this with quality drama, some with cheap production values.

There are some plus points: the old Yorkshire mansion and it's windswept grounds give a good background feeling, and the explicit pictures of the ghosts is usual and scarier than most in the genre - more like The Grudge than Turn of the Screw.

Overall, I was left with the question, why? Did this movie really need to be made?

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

17 February 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Altar See more »

Filming Locations:

Yorkshire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed