The Charnel House – USA, 2016

‘Every place has a past’

The Charnel House is a 2016 American horror film directed by Craig Moss (Nightmare Nurse; 911 Nightmare; 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) from a screenplay by Emanuel Isler (associate producer of Fear Clinic) and Chad Israel. It stars Joe Keery, Nadine Velazquez and Erik LaRay Harvey.

the-charnel-house-2016

1983: Serial killer Thomas Schect used the, the Fairmont Meat Company slaughterhouse as a front for storing his victims’ body parts.

Present: When the slaughterhouse is transformed into modern loft apartments it seems like a dream come true for the new tenants. However, soon after moving in they are tormented by a dark secret that has been trapped in the building for over thirty years. As the horror escalates the new tenants start to realize they may never get out alive…

Reviews:

“The story is pretty simple and sure, we may have seen some variations of it before. Still, I don’t feel like I’ve ever watched this particular version of it before, so to me, The Charnel House was an original and very well-told story.” Scream Queen, Heaven of Horror

“Putting the reveal so early in the picture puts too much strain on Moss’s filmmaking abilities, which aren’t strong to begin with. The Charnel House limps to a close, losing its identity as a slaughterhouse nightmare to play common bad seed games, albeit with a contemporary technological twist. Performances aren’t problematic (Velazquez is actually quite effective in the concerned wife role), but the feature is hopelessly dull at times, muting Moss’s career detour.” Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

“Moss and screenwriters Emanuel Isler and Chad Israel are far more interested in exploring psychological and supernatural themes than engaging in torture p*rn. However, they rather cruelly create some surprisingly likable tenant characters, but then kill them off mid-way through. Ironically, it demonstrates just why so many horror movies play it safe with shallow stock characters.” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

“The use of imagery from actual slaughterhouses and the underlying existential question of whether a place of suffering and death for non-human species can bleed over into the emotional lives and physical environments of people is raised and suggests that The Charnel House may actually be on track to be something more than a conventional ‘boo’ movie. Unfortunately, neither the writers nor director Craig Moss is smart enough to go down a different path…” Mrs Norman Maine, Movie Rewind

Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

The Charnel House isn’t the least bit original, but that isn’t the main issue.  “The Charnel House” isn’t the least bit creepy either, and since it doesn’t go anywhere unique, its slow scenes aren’t worth the wait […] An improbable twist plus an improbable premise equals an improbable chance of this film finding an appreciative audience.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

” …its refusal to show the horror firsthand prevents it from ever being truly scary. It’s a completely-made film that never lets itself go off the rails, which is something that these kinds of manic haunted house stories absolutely need to do. Is it entertaining enough? Sure. Could it have been much better? Definitely.” Blair Hoyle, Cinema Slasher

The Charnel House is an intriguing thriller with a novel concept, carried forward by a bold and focused performance from its lead. With too much of the script hinged on a character that fails to engage, we are left with a film in dire need of a modern renovation.” Aaron B. Peterson, The Hollywood Outsider

Main cast:

  • Joe Keery
  • Nadine Velazquez
  • Erik LaRay Harvey
  • Kate LinderDead Love; Voice from the Stone
  • Callum Blue
  • Makenzie Moss
  • Andy Favreau
  • Patrick M. Walsh
  • Danielle Lauder
  • Alden Tab
  • Richard Fike
  • Dan Anders

Filming locations:

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Release:

Following a select theatrical release in North America, the film is currently available via various VOD platforms, such as Amazon.com and Netflix. A British DVD release from High Fliers Films, as The Ghost of Charnel House, is due on 30 October 2017.

 

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