3.5 out of 10
Release Date: 27th February (DVD Premiere)
Director: Nick Willing (Photographing Fairies)
Cast: Olivia Williams, Matthew Modine, Antonia Clarke, Adam Thomas Wright, Stephen Chance, Jonathan Jaynes, Richard Dillane and Steve Oram
Writer: Nick Willing
Trailer: THE HAUNTING OF RADCLIFFE HOUSE
Talented actress Olivia Williams (RUSHMORE) must have owed someone a serious favour to have said yes to appear in this clunky haunted house movie. There’s nothing at all special about this ordinary yet confusing horror movie. Also spare a thought for once-great actor Matthew Modine (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) who must have been Hollywood black-listed at some point, as he looks sheepish and embarrassed to be a part of the film too.
Olivia Williams and her family are staying in the titular haunted house whilst she renovates it. The locals are superstitious and won’t help her because it’s the sight of a weird cult killing about a century earlier. She finds a secret room with a mosaic that showcases a map of the human soul. They surmise that it was a former temple. A cracked fountain and a bottle of fizzy vimto also have a key part to play in proceedings as Williams attempts to keep the house from becoming part of a ridiculous prophecy / curse. Her husband, played by Modine is first to succumb as he begins to sculpture an image of a woman who was sacrificed in the house years a before.
With the presence of such well-established actors I was tempted to give this one the benefit of the doubt. It’s a short way in that all my good will was used up. First of all the two children must have come from ‘rent a son or daughter from the casting director.com’ as they are both terrible and are expected to carry quite a bit of the weight of the daft plot. Situations and twists are telegraphed by the boombastic soundtrack and and it same time it offers nothing new. Steve Oram (BAD EDUCATION) shows up in a pointless scene as a ghostbuster-cum-plumber who on discovering that the house really is haunted runs off scared. If every movie ghostbuster did this then cinema would be a very dull place.
The house and location is fairly creepy and you get a good sense of geography in the film and setting the film during a wet autumn on the Yorkshire Moors was a canny idea. I’m afraid that’s where invention stopped, with the location managers. Show pieces contain a demonic car, a bottle of fizzy pop and the obligatory walled off room and cellar. Details of what exactly happened in the past remain scant throughout the running time, so the sense of disorientation only serves to bewilder not intrigue. The ghosts – viewed through smashed glass do little to scare as they show too much too soon breaking a cardinal rule of film scariness….
3.5 out of 10 – Disappointing mess that isn’t scary and doesn’t make that much sense either. Sad to see such great actors squander their time with such predictable and boring crap like this.
Additional review by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher below.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Olivia Williams: Man Up, The Seventh Son, Map of the Stars, Sabotage, Last Days of Mars, Now Is Good , Anna Karenina (2012), Wild Bill (2012), Sex & Drugs & Rock-n-Roll, The Ghost, Hanna, An Education, X-Men III, To Kill A King, Below, The Heart Of Me, The Sixth Sense, Born Romantic, Rushmore, The Postman
- Matthew Modine: 47 Metres Down, The Hippopotamus, Army of One, Stranger Things (TV), The Dark Knight Rises, Girl In Progress, Weeds (TV), Transporter 2, Le divorce, Any Given Sunday, Notting Hill, The Real Blonde, The Blackout, Cutthroat Island, Fluke, Bye Bye Love, The Browning Version (1994), And The Band Played On, Short Cuts, Equinox, Wind, Pacific Heights, Memphis Belle, Gross Anatomy, Married To The Mob, Full Metal Jacket, Vision Quest, Mrs Soffel, Birdy
- Stephen Chance: Kill Keith
- Richard Dillane: Wolf Hall (TV), Argo, Oranges and Sunshine, Casualty (TV)
- Steve Oram: The Man You’re Not, A Dark Song, Aaaaaaaah!, Captain Webb, The Canal, The Bad Education Movie, Paddington, Cuban Fury, The World’s End, Sightseers