THE HAUNTING OF ANNIE DYER

 0.5 out of 10

Release Date: 26th September 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Georg E. Lewis (aka Steve Lawson) (Essex Heist / Footsoldier / Killer/Saurus / The Silencer)

Cast: Raven Lee, Jonathan Hansler, June Bladon, Toni Lou Frost and Steven Dolton

Writer: Steve Lawson

Trailer: THE HAUNTING OF ANNIE DYER

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Director / writer Steve Lawson and his partners must be trying to crack their way into the soft-porn industry. I actually think they’ve tricked me into watching a super-natural take on Electric Blue. The badly dubbed, perfunctory script, terrible acting and very lazy plot only serves to confirm my fears. If it’s not a soft porn film then what we have instead is probably the biggest show of contempt for a movie watching audience committed to video ever. It’s shockingly bad.

Every plot point is telegraphed and the pace is very slow. The tone is wobbly, jumping from high comedy to dopey horror shenanigans in seconds. Firstly let’s take a look at the plot. Annie Dyer (RAVEN LEE) is a big breasted brunette with the acting skills of a constipated budgie. She’s drawn to a flat, so rents it from pervy Mr Fitz (JONATHAN HANSLER – ART ACHE) who’s too busy doing a reprise of his manic comedy turn from f*ck-awful Axed to know he’s in a horror. Unfortunately, immediately after moving in, she gets plagued by a haunted cup, then whenever she gets undressed her kitchen cupboards start to giggle and make comic horror laughter, then electric smoke billows around the flat. These effects only serve to obscure Annie Dyer’s nipples and furry bits. She then calls in a very docile supernatural expert who may hold the key to the ghost mystery. Just who is haunting Annie? And why is she now in a mental hospital being questioned by rent-a-plank Steve Dolton (ROBERT 2)? The plot conveniently solves unknowable twists with lazy conceits even the writers of The X-Files or Dallas never dared to.  No, I won’t spoil the ending, but you’ll see it coming in the prelude. Yes, really, this film is made by twonks for twonks.

The nudity seems to have been included because the director wanted to see some trim for himself. A convoluted way to see some boobs by making a film filmed with soft-porn actresses and models. Without getting personal against people I’ve never met, the film does like it’s been cast with escort girls, plus Hansler and Dolton.

The laughing kitchen cupboards will make your jaw hit the floor in disbelief, but at least someone made use of the old BBC prop department from the ’80s. Steve Lawson looks like he’s rescued the talking kitchen furniture from The Young Ones. Good one him. Maybe he can employ SPG for his next film instead of Raven Lee.

There’s nothing good about this film except for the score. The music is actually fit for purpose, atmospheric and suited a way better horror film. Shame its used to wallpaper this very poor excuse for entertainment.

Message to the director: Please make a sequel to The Silencer Steve, all will be forgiven. Where’s Glenn Salvage when you need him?

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0.25 out of 10 – One of the worst films I’ve ever seen and I’ve been the editor of Britpic for 4 years now and seen a lot of sh*t. This makes the directors homemade debut The Silencer look like an epic masterpiece of film wizardry.

Another review by Matt The Flusher Usher is below

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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One thought on “THE HAUNTING OF ANNIE DYER

  1. Review by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher

    Annie Dyer is a young woman in desperate, urgent need of a home, which is provided by a repellent landlord (a pervert who enjoys humiliating and spying on women). This film could have been an earnest neo-realist drama about homelessness and low-level corruption. Or a sleazy thriller. But that is to reckon without the imagination of Steve Lawson, the mastermind behind THE SILENCER, FOOTSOLDIER, and KILLERSAURUS, films whose very existence is testament to … something. Stupidity? Tenacity? Optimism? One thing which binds them is that Mr Lawson refuses to be restricted by budgets smaller than my bank balance (currently £36.94). So obviously he’s remade THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, POLTERGEIST and THE ENTITY and distilled them into a 70 minute film which almost looks like it took 70 minutes to make.

    It opens with Annie illegally strapped to a chair in a police station / mental hospital, with what may be a tie which perhaps belongs to a detective (Steve Dolton in docile mood) trying to unravel the strange events of the night of Sunday October 3rd 2015. (There are numerous reasons for things going awry on films: actors quitting, bad weather, the script getting lost. But there is no excuse for this: there is no such date. October 3rd 2015 was a Saturday. Did no-one look at a calendar? Ridiculous!) So what did happen on that fateful fictional night? The film goes into flashback mode to investigate.

    Annie finds a house/flat/room, ridiculously described as an apartment, and phones the landlord who’s busy ogling a naked woman who owes some rent. (This leads to the only successful deliberately comic moment when the detective asks how Annie could possibly know about that). Annie moves in immediately. But the ‘apartment’ is haunted! Or is it? A glass gets smashed! There’s a corpse (well, a hallucination of one) in the shower (though that doesn’t stop Annie from frequently showering: she’s keen on keeping her shoulders clean). Sometimes there’s dry ice. And the cupboards and shower head keep breaking out into gales of laughter. (Yes, as poor Annie succumbs to the glass-smashing poltergeist, her ‘apartment’ becomes a demonic laughter-zone for giggling furniture.) And then there’s the naked blonde lady only Annie can see. Mr Fitz, the estate agent / landlord (who, oddly, has only one property at his disposal) is monitoring the flat with secret video cameras but doesn’t see the dead naked blonde lady (until the end) despite recording any ‘nocturnal activity’ (one of the film’s alternative titles, presumably an attempt to hoodwink fans of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and people who think it might be porn; they will be bitterly disappointed. The only nocturnal activity on view is a woman sleeping in bed. True, she also showers frequently and slowly, but that’s often in the day as well. Actually it’s whenever she’s awake. The life of Annie Dyer: wake, wash, sleep, wash, wake, wash, sleep, get possessed by demonic succubus, wash, sleep. Her heating bill must be huge.).

    Fitz is played by Jonathan Hansler with manic intensity (in a bad way), a kind of creepy cross between Kenneth Williams and Norman Wisdom. Curiously, I think that’s intentional. He’s working for a Russian Mr Big (inevitably called Ivan and voiced over the phone by none other than Jonathan Hansler (my, he is ‘immensely versatile’ as he describes himself). Fitz keeps him supplied with a stream of videotapes of women doing naughty stuff like washing their shoulders. Ivan’s favourite was the flat’s previous tenant, who, by spooky coincidence was a frequently naked blonde lady.

    Eventually Annie stops washing her shoulders and hires a paranormal investigator, who already unwittingly holds the key to the mystery. The investigator (a young lady in a tight top, obviously) films the front room before admitting that ghosts rarely hang around in front rooms. She starts recording the bedroom, now being taped by two different devices (neither of which capture the solution to the mystery), and yet there’s still no sign of anything worth taping. I mean poltergeists. Obviously. Then in the spectacular climax (that’s what it says on the DVD blurb) past and future, dream and reality, merge in an orgy of sex and death as the plot’s unfathomable twist reveals itself. Or at least I guess that was the idea.

    It would be easy to dismiss this as the dismal ravings of a deluded idiot. But we should look beyond such things as competence, credibility and any evidence of familiarity with film-making tools and instead embrace the madness and find joy in it. If a film like THE HAUNTING OF ANNIE DYER, despite its overtones of sexual coercion and its deployment of comedy sex offenders, can provide that joy then damn those who want good scripts, clear plots, decent acting, atmosphere, music, design, editing and lighting. No-one watches pornography for the lighting (though it helps if the lights are on). And no-one would watch this for the lighting either. Or anything else. Especially the pornography. So what if the leading lady’s voice seems to be badly dubbed (possibly by someone else though it can’t possibly be an improvement)? And so what if Raven Lee (as Annie) displays little acting ability (she’s even unconvincing when washing her shoulders)? For goodness sake, this is a film where someone addresses an envelope to ‘Filthy Russian Pervert, Somewhere in Russia, Russia’. If you do watch it then do so in a mood of celebration. Yes, it’s terrible and should never have been unleashed, but it shows what you can do if you’ve got a camera, a flat, a smoke machine and some models to stand around in various states of undress. This has ‘all-time cult classic’ written all over it (in an Edward D Wood Jr sort of way).

    Astonishingly, there is no reference to Danny Dyer. Shocking. Imagine what THE HAUNTING OF DANNY DYER would have been. Imagine Danny spending endless hours washing his shoulders, and luxuriating in a gigantic dressing gown and … actually no. Let’s not go there. Be grateful for small mercies.

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