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Review: House of Bones

DVD Review

House of Bones DVD 001This one was in the bargain bin and all I knew about it was that featured Charisma Carpenter and Corin Nemec and considering some the films I‘ve seen them in their names are no guarantee of quality. A film based on a ghost hunter TV show that finds out that the house they are investigating is really haunted is neither new or original and has in fact appeared as the plot is a few episodes of the TV show Supernatural. This film actually did remind me of the Ghostfacer episodes from that show.

The cable TV show Sinister Sites is doing poorly in the ratings so a production company executive puts pressure on the presenter of the show Quentin French (Corin Nemec) to go the next haunted house himself in an effort to give the show a ratings boost. French is arrogant but reluctantly agrees when faced with the sack for not agreeing. We don’t see much more of Quentin in this film until the end.

We see the real crew getting unpacked outside the gate of a large suburban house and though the grounds look a bit barren and neglected it does seem to be filmed in winter. They actually comment on the house looking in good condition because they think it would be spookier if it looked run down. The crew is cinematographer Simon (Collin Galyean), lead investigator Greg Fisher (Marcus Lyle Brown), producer Tom Rule (Ricky Wayne) and an assistant called Bub (Kyle Russell Clements). They also have a psychic Heather Burton (Charisma Carpenter)

Heather has a feeling of strong energies in the house but the crew have heard this stuff from psychics all the time and they have visited many so-called haunted house and none of them believe it’s real. They are here to film a show and they have lights and effects to do that. The real estate agent who is supposed to let them in is late but the gate is open. The house itself is locked but Greg picks the lock of the back door and they go inside. The house looks clean and well-maintained and there’s even fresh food in the fridge. At least it looks fresh but when Bub helps himself to an apple it turns rotten and maggoty before he can bite it. Bub is new to the crew and is both nosy and whiny until he’s told to just shut up, do what he’s told and stay out of the way.

The real estate agent Sara Minor (Stephanie Honore) shows up and she’s not happy that they are already inside. There’s talk of legal liability stuff but they were only supposed to film in the house for five hours in the daytime. This is a problem for Tom who wants to film at night. Greg manages to smooth things over with Sara and she reluctantly agrees to let them carry on.

Simon is setting up his equipment in a music room near the front door and he sends Bub to put fixed cameras on the walls of all the rooms. In one room the wall starts bleeding once he’s fixed the camera and when he takes it off he ends up punching a hole in the wall and losing the camera in it. He cut his hand and goes to clean it up while Greg retrieves the camera. The hole is dripping with slime and there’s a hint of body parts in the shapes in the hole. Greg thinks it’s ectoplasm and bags and shows it to Tom and Simon before bagging it.

The spirits in the house don’t waste any time letting them know that they are real and dangerous. Bub gets lead astray by female spirit that he follows into shower room only foe the spirit to vanish and replaced by a cockroach infestation as he tries to go back to the others end ends up being swallowed whole by the house.

First they have the various excuses for not leaving right away like finding Bub or getting the first ever genuine footage of a haunting but when things get so serious those excuses can’t keep them there the house locks them in. They have to uncover the black magic secrets of the house of bones if they want a chance of getting out alive.

This has the low-budget feel of a made for TV film mainly because it is. The effects a very cheap but are used sparingly so rarely get in the way of the story. It isn’t a very original story but it is entertaining enough. Charisma Carpenter doesn’t really get much to do apart from wander around seeing visions. Corin Nemec gets even less screen time and mostly acts as comedy relief when he does appear.

Rating 5.5/10

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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Entertainment, Film


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