Bargain DVD time and I admit I only picked this one up because it starred Luke Goss, Ving Rhames and Val Kilmer and the story sounded interesting enough if potentially a little cliché but at a couple of quid it would be at least worth a watch. And I was right – it is worth about a single watch, maybe if it turns up on SyFy and there’s nothing else on TV. This ghostly horror story has five people getting trapped in a house in the middle of nowhere on a dark and stormy night with a host they can’t trust in a house with a creepy history.
The film opens with that creepy history and Elizabeth McKnight (Brianna Lee Johnson) returns home to discover her husband William (Silvio Wolf Busch) having sex with his mistress. After he beats his wife he throws out the mistress. That night their young son Sean slaughters the entire household with a knife.
Forward to the present day and the five victims are getting into a minibus that is driving them to some resort that we never get to see for a holiday. There’s two brothers Adam (Matt Barr) who is a medical student and Issac (Luke Goss) who is a guy whose brother is a medical student. Their mother died recently and they are sort of still sad about that. There’s Bill McCormick (Val Kilmer) and his wife Brooklyn (Bonnie Somerville) who are trying to rekindle their marriage which is in trouble because Bill is interested in sleeping with every female except his wife. The fifth person is Dr Lipski (Christian Baha) who is from Europeland and who gives this group a higher than normal amount of medical people. There’s a driver on the bus too but he really doesn’t matter.
On the way the resort the driver stops at a gas station and tells them that this the last stop before their destination. Isaac, Adam and Bill get out to buy some supplies in the shop and Adam chats up the young cashier Courtney (Rebecca Da Costa) who protests she has a boyfriend. This doesn’t stop Bill from also trying to chat up Courtney while his wife is waiting in the bus for him. The film makes a point of the news on the radio mentioning a big storm approaching and the roads are going to be closed later.
They get back on the road and while they are having a dull conversation about reincarnation and past lives Adam fleetingly sees the ghost of the mistress of William McKnight standing in a field in white clothes but no-one else seems to notice her and they keep driving until the same ghost appears in the road in front of them just after a sharp turn. The driver swerves to avoid her and goes off the road smashes into a tree. The driver is killed but everyone else survived though Bill did get a nasty knock on his head. They are lucky that Jack (Ving Rhames) is driving past in his truck and he stops to help them. Dr Lipski thinks they should get Bill to a hospital but Jacks warns them that with a storm approaching a lot of roads are closed and they won’t get very far. Of course mobile phones are useless. Jack offers to take them back to his house where they can wait out the storm and they reluctantly agree.
Jack’s house turns out to be the same house the McKnights died in but Jack doesn’t mention that until later. He goes out of his way to act creepy and suspicious and even though he clearly told them they could make a call from his house when they get there he tells them he hasn’t got a phone. This makes Bill very paranoid and when he starts hearing creepy ghost noises no-one pays any attention to him because of the bump on his head. Adam insists on borrowing Jack’s truck to drive back to the gas station and phone for help for Bill.
On the way to gas station Adam finds Courtney stuck at the side of the road looking for help because she’s ran out of gas. There’s a lot of tedious flirtatious chat and eventually Courtney accepts his offer of a lift back to the gas station. They don’t get very far because just like Jack said the road is closed so they drive back to Jack’s house.
Now the creepy stuff really kicks in and everybody starts seeing the ghosts of the McKnights. Bill is found dead with signs that someone strangled him to death. Then when they decide to go get help the find out the engine of Jack’s truck has been trashed. Accusations start flying but when they suspect Jack he just laughs at them.
There really wasn’t too much that was very original about this film and when it did start wandering off in its own direction in the final part of the film it wasn’t very scary or exciting. Twice the script uses the old dumb horror film trope of gathering everyone together then splitting them up to look for someone who is missing and then somebody gets killed. The film feels drawn out and it has a lot of scenes shot in bad light so it’s difficult to see what’s happening. There’s also not very much gore in sight with most deaths off camera in order to preserve the ending twist. It’s okay for a single viewing as I said above but not very satisfying.
PS Can anyone who has seen the film tell me what the title means since I can’t recall the film explaining it?