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Directed by Mary Lambert
Written by Tom Malloy, Bob Reitano
Starring Elisabeth Moss, Tom Malloy, John Savage, Catherine Mary Stewart
Produced by Aimee Schoof, Isen Robbins, Tom Malloy, Russ Terlecki
I’ll confess to having mixed emotions when I slapped “The Attic” into my DVD player. The fact that it had someone from “Pet Sematary” attached to it was definitely a point in its favor, but the last time I saw something from Slamdance On The Road, The Other Side, it frankly was not that great.
So now I’m looking at it and wondering, for once, lightning will strike twice. But in which direction?
The plot is almost worrisome in its simplicity—just your standard class-X haunted house story—with the wrinkle that only one person who lives in the house can actually see any of the stuff that’s going on. So naturally, all the old questions of sanity and hallucination rear their ugly heads. Most of the problems seem to center around the attic of said haunted house, so that at least gives us a focus to work with.
On the one hand, it’s good to see something so simple again. It’s not very often that we get a straight haunted house story, but then, can it provide sufficient depth on its own to make it worthwhile?
The answer? Not so much. It’s not that there’s not a lot to like about “The Attic”—you can really see the gradual decline as the engine behind the haunting takes force—it’s just that it’s really too straightforward. It gets sort of predictable, especially if you have a lot of experience with prior horror films. If you know what you’re doing, then you’ll know what they’re doing. You’ll get the feeling that you’ve seen this all before, and the worst of it? In places…you already have seen it.
The ending is a hallucinatory intermingling of images and plots—plenty twisty but at least slightly confusing. It leaves more than a few questions unanswered, but the lack of answers actually makes things a bit scarier.
The special features include Spanish subtitles and trailers for “The Attic,” “The Other Side,” “The Unknown Trilogy,” “Hack!” and “Night Junkies.”
All in all, if you’re into haunted house fare then you’ll find plenty to enjoy in “The Attic”, but for those who have experience in the genre, you might be more bored than anything. Still, it’s worth a rental if you can’t find much else good.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
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