Jenny (Steffanie Pitt) is tormented by dreams where she sees herself, as a young child,murdering her mother. Her psychiatrist father (Patrick Mower) is of no help, and so she sneaksout of her home one night to return to the asylum where her family once lived, and where hermother died. Three other people – a mad priest, a phony medium (Ingrid Pitt) and a drug addict– are also drawn to this location by forces they do not comprehend. It turns out that they are alltormented by…the same dreams. Each thinks he/she is guilty of the murder. In the asylum, themurders begin again. Who is the killer?
The premise is intriguing, and there are some very neat, macabre moments as the filmapproaches the climax. The art direction and camera work are both strong too, especially giventhe film’s tiny budget, and the asylum looks properly creepy. But though the film feels like itmight be a cross between Suspiria and Session 9, it doesn’t achieve either thoseheights. There isn’t enough plot to sustain 102 minutes, and so there is a lot of padding,consisting of much running around corridors. A blackly but incongruously funny and irrelevantepisode involving property developers is tossed in, and tossed back out just as quickly. Jennyherself shrieks and wails too often to be sympathetic, the solution to the mystery is no surprise toanyone who has ever seen a horror film, and the resolution is unconvincing, thus lacking punch.Nonetheless, there is some promise on display here.
The 2.0 soundtrack is limited in its surround aspects, but those that it deploys are quiteeffective. Most noticeable among these is spooky cries of “Mummy!” and the like, which movevery effectively from the front speakers to the rear. Otherwise, surround sound effects make theirpresence known only sporadically (with wind in the trees, for instance). The music sounds quitegood, though there is one moment of a peculiar waver from left to right. About 67 minutes in,there is a sudden burst of static.
The picture is 1.85:1 widescreen, but isn’t anamorphic, and there is noticeable picturedegradation when it is expanded for 16×9 televisions. The image is rather soft, and the contrastsvary from the harsh (was this shot on 16 mm?) to the quite effective (as when Jenny sits in thedark and is shown home movies by her father). The film is frequently quite murky, but not to thepoint of rendering the action obscure.
The extras are all text features, and these consist of an interview with director John Stewart,some production notes, and filmographies of Stewart and cast members Steffanie Pitt, Ingrid Pitt,Patrick Mower, and Robin Askwith. The advertised still gallery is nowhere to be found. Themenu is scored.
Nothing to shout from the rooftops, but a not-disagreeable return to low-budget Brit horror.In that vein, it is delightful to see Ingrid Pitt on the screen again.
Special Features List
- Director Interview
- Production Notes