#231 -- Don't Look in the Cellar (2008)
Director: Dennis Devine
Ugh, there are so many things wrong with this movie. I'd been putting off on watching it, because from the synopsis, it just didn't seem like something I'd be into. I'm not really sure why, because I'm all for abandoned asylums; but the way it was described made it seem like it would be stupid. I was not wrong.
It was actually a pretty good premise. A bunch of college kids, trying to earn some extra credit for their history class, go to an abandoned asylum to learn the truth of its past. It's your typical group of horror movie folks: the lesbians, the jerk, the nice guy, the nice girl, the whore, the shy girl, and the older sister. Once they get to asylum, people start dying in extremely boring ways. It turns out, a couple of the inmates hid, so that they weren't caught and shipped away. One of them was just some guy who liked to warn people to--shock!--not go into the cellar. And then there was Smiley, the horrendous serial killer. I don't mean horrendous as in scary; I mean he was just plain awful. He wore a burlap sack on his head, and it had a smiley face painted in blood. That could have been pretty creepy, but it just wasn't.
Okay, let's talk about where the movie goes wrong. First of all, the asylum was shut down ten years before the kids showed up. If it happened only ten years before, there's no way they'd be learning about it in a college history class. No way. It all happened on Halloween, and they decided to turn it into a research/Halloween party. I guess they were trying to make us think, "Hey, it's a Halloween party, but they're learning!" They wanted to be different. But it was just stupid, in my opinion. One of the girls' mom had access to the keys into the place, but get this. The doors locked from both the inside and outside, and each lock needed a different key. Sounds strange to me. But that was so that, when she tried to use her key to get out, it didn't work. The so-called "asylum" was obviously just someone's house. I didn't believe for one second that it was actually an asylum. Their "school" also looked like someone's house. I understand it was low-budget, and they weren't able to rent the proper buildings and what-not, but all made the movie so unrealistic.
Overall, I think it was a good idea, but its low budget hindered it, unfortunately. I have nothing against low budget movies, as all of you know. But I've seen a lot of really wonderful low-budget movies, and it's sad, because I know that this one could have been so much better.
And I've got to warn you about the trailer of the movie. It looks pretty interesting, but don't believe it. It shows scenes of women being tied and bound, and has creepy shots of a cellar, but none of that really happens. Sure, there's a cellar, but it doesn't look as good as it does in the trailer. And there are no women being bound and killed; they're just killed quickly. So, if you've seen the trailer and are interested...you have been warned.