Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Film Review: Don't Look In The Basement (1973)

Don't Look In The Basement (Review)
United States/1973
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes 

"It's easily forgettable, and barely qualifies as a horror film..."

In a secluded mental health institute, Dr. Stephens, the head of the sanitarium, is fatally injured while treating a patient. Dr. Geraldine Masters is the only doctor left on the campus until a young nurse, Charlotte Beale, arrives with prior arrangements with Dr. Stephens. After some hesitation, Charlotte is allowed to work in this open institute... where the patients roam freely.

Don't Look In The Basement, or The Forgotten, has a simple, straight-forward story. The bulk of the film introduces the characters, and places Charlotte into some uncomfortable positions. She'll have odd conversations with the patients, or wake up to disturbing situations. Along the way, some of the patients will mess with each other. It's not really a terrifying look into the mentally ill; I was rarely shocked or impressed by these interpretations. The film tries to end with a predictable twist, but the delivery was incredibly sloppy causing it to lose any possible effectiveness.

As I previously stated, Don't Look In The Basement isn't actually a scary film. It's interesting, and often disturbing, but it never achieves actual terror. The entire film feels like a long detour to a weak resolution. It's slow pace and the lack of events make this a bore to get through - an often tedious experience. The ending of the film delivers some jump-scares, and some violence - the gore effects aren't particularly impressive or shocking. Any horror aspects this film offers fall flat.

The acting is solid. I enjoyed some of the performances, especially those that suddenly change from euphoric to angry. Generally, the acting feels very basic. The direction nor the writing never really try to pull anything out the actors and it doesn't bother creating an actual story. Like I said, it feels very uneventful. From a technical standpoint, nothing in this film stands out.

Overall, Don't Look In The Basement, or The Forgotten, is a mediocre horror film. It's easily forgettable, and barely qualifies as a horror film. I recommend streaming or renting before purchasing.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think Brownrigg is your typical gore meister. So, not really recommended for anyone expecting standard horror. That said, there's definitely some interesting stuff going on here.

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