THUMBS DOWN FILM REVIEW RATING!
I like the horror genre as much as the next twisted individual. I enjoy being scared out of my chair, covering my eyes during certain graphic moments, sitting glued to my seat as some character you've become emotionally vested in opens a door you know should NEVER be opened. But this film delivered on none of those.
First, let's start with the films basic outline: a group of Hazmat workers have contracted to clean up the abandoned Danvers Mental Hospital in Massachusetts. It's a creepy looking monstrosity-of-a-building which seems to develop as a sort of character all on its own. And as the workers delve into the building's rooms, they find little odds and ends that attract each worker: one finding coins and rings; another finding interview tapes (9 of them) from a patient with multiple personality disorder; and still another worker finds ...insanity and death.
Where this film fell down was in plot. It didn't seem to have one or --- probably more likely --- was buried so deep in the film's nuances that you'd be hard-pressed to find it with a microscope. Now I'm not asking for everything to be spelled out in black and white for me (in fact, I HATE that), but film makers also need to be conscious of not losing their audience completely.
Let me explain. If the makers of this movie wanted me to understand the motivation of the terrible things that happened in this place and their effects on the Hazmat team, they utterly flopped at doing so. I have no idea why one of the team members began killing everyone around him. Or what influence the building had on him. Or if he was somehow connected with the hospital at some point in his life. Or what "the lobotomy chair" had to do with any of it.
There's a reason this film hasn't sold well and is not available at most video rental stores. It'll only appeal to those who absolutely love disassociated threads in a movie's message. But that's certainly not for me. I need at least one thread to hang on to.