By Paul Vincent (Riverside, CA)
It is always delightful to discover a gem of a film, perhaps lost in today’s deluge mediocre “found footage” movies. Such is the case with the House of Forbidden Secrets. I was lucky enough to see this film at a film festival screening in Ohio and I loved it. It was very well made, professional and obviously crafted with care and love from a group of people who love the horror genre. It’s truly a dedication to the films of Lucio Fulci, the great director. They even have music by Lucio’s go to music maestro Fabio Frizzi. The lighting, camerawork and special effects are all pretty incredible for a low budget film and I really loved the story.
Without giving too much away this is a movie about a haunted building and a group of innocent people who get trapped inside on the anniversary night of a very nasty event that happened many years before. There are interesting and contrasting characters that have their own ideas, beliefs, doubts, fears and methods for dealing with the supernatural occurrences in the building. My personal favorite character is Cassie played by Nicole Santorella. She was spot on and really brought energy and passion to the role. I greatly enjoyed how the film was set up. In the beginning, the film takes time to actually create a story and we get the assembly of the main group of characters. The suspense is set up with the séance and the aftermath of opening doors that should not be opened. I also liked that bygone era technique of opening a movie with a neat sequence from the MIDDLE of the film. Another plus is Lew Temple as the villain of the film. To say the least, he was creepy, forthright and menacing as the Priest with a dark past.
With the mystery of the evil unleashed somehow attached to the events of the past, the characters have to not only survive strange creatures and demons from other dimensions, but also unravel a plot that will take them back in time. It could have been confusing, but the complex story was handled with a sure hand by director Todd Sheets. There are some intriguing concepts to the film, like understanding the truly horrific reasons as to why the Shadowview Manor is haunted. The house is a cross between a haunted labyrinth and a fun house with monsters and danger around each corner. The script is epic in scope and very ambitious. House of Forbidden Secrets, at its core, is a unique tale about past sins coming back to destroy us, purgatory and religion that helps make this film a truly terrifying delight. The music, atmosphere and direction combine to d=create a film that I found quite entertaining and pretty incredible considering its low budget.
This movie has not been released on DVD or Blu-ray yet, so I find it very odd that 14 people gave it a “1” rating from overseas and I have seen a few really nasty reviews on here and I can honestly say that they are bogus. It is obviously done by trolls who have never seen the film. They did the same thing to a few of my other favorites, Doghouse, Attack of the Werewolves and Housebound. These films all got bad ratings before they were ever released. I wish IMDB could do something about nasty trolls. It is obvious they are only trying to hurt the rating of this film.
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