Saturday, July 20, 2013

Horror Film Review

Greystone Park (2012):  Found footage horror flick in the tradition of Blair Witch set in an insane asylum.  Because that's never been done before.  This unrelenting mess is brought to us by Sean Stone, son of big-shot filmmaker Oliver Stone.  Nepotism in Hollywood?  I'm shocked, shocked I say!  Doesn't matter, really, since the end product is not exactly something of which to be proud.

Greystone Park is an abandoned mental hospital where unmentionable abuses against patients were committed and is now said to be haunted.  Some friends decide it would be a fabulous idea to spend time in there alone "investigating" the claims.  Could anything possibly go wrong?  For them, yes.  For us, hell yes. 

In the beginning, there was a dinner party attended by the friends and Sean's father Oliver.  To add to the "realism" everyone in this film plays himself.  This was a fine conceit many years ago but now is just stupid.  Why shoot for this level of realism in this age of instant information and 24 hour news?  If something untoward befell the son of an Academy Award-winning director, how long would that stay secret do you suppose?  Anyway, at the party, Oliver tells a ghost story from his childhood involving a creepy woman with glowing eyes.  Much later in the asylum, Sean and company stumble across this woman.  How?  Why?  Oliver saw the woman as a kid in a different part of the country.  Now you begin to understand the depth of dumb we're dealing with here.  Otherwise, the footage of the investigation is chock full of the usual..."Did you hear that?", "What was that?", and the inevitable running and screaming...and getting thrown against walls by a ghost until the hapless investigator is quite dead.  How come that never happens to the guys from Ghost Adventures?


Acting:  About as natural as a Hot Pocket on a Styrofoam plate. 
Story:  About as original as a Die Hard sequel.
Direction:  About as coherent as Ozzie Osbourne after a quart of gin.
Production Values:  About as high as a Kardashian's IQ.
Gore/FX:  About as good as what you'd find in a home movie...shot by an 8 year-old with ADD.
Scares:  About as many as you'd find in a Merchant/Ivory film.
Ending:  About as intelligent as a U.S. congressman.
Verdict:  About what you'd expect. 

Rating:  1 out of 5

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