Haunted House

31 Days of Horror - October 2011

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis: The phrase “insane asylum” doesn’t begin to describe Danvers State Hospital. The now-derelict institution is a massive ruin, shuttered in the ’80s due to federal budget cuts and its controversial practices. Gordon Fleming owns a HazMat removal business and aggressively bids on a contract to strip asbestos from the site, because he desperately needs the work. But is it just the money that’s drawing him to this project … or is he a man haunted? And as long as we’re tackling hypothetical questions, does being forcibly lobotomized on the job qualify you for workers comp?

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When Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) move into a new house with their three children, they see it as an opportunity for the life they always wanted. Renai can get back to writing music and be a full-time mom for her family, and the kids have all the space they could ever want. Unfortunately some of that space appears to be occupied by malevolent ghosts. What do they want? How can this family rid themselves of their worst nightmare? Why does that ghost look like Darth Maul? On the one hand, writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan have given us a solid film with some remarkably unsettling imagery sure to haunt the nightmares of even the most jaded horrorphiles. On the flip side, they have given us one of the loudest, most obnoxiously lazy horror films in years. This paradox eats at me as I desperately wanted to like Insidious and frankly the potential it displays alludes to a film that could have easily made my list of favorites of the year. Sadly, that potential is squandered in cheap thrills and hackneyed conventions.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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