Horror / Mystery

IMDb Rating 5.2 10 4,223


Downloaded 37,133 times
April 16, 2019



Antonia Clarke as Penny Hamilton
Matthew Modine as Michael Trainer
Olivia Williams as Emma Stiles
Steve Oram as Daryl

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Michael Ledo 7 / 10 / 10

Mom's working

"Altar" and "The Haunting of Radcliffe House" are the same film. The Hamilton family moves into the old Radcliffe house in order to restore it. The townies are leery of the place and are not much help. Meg (Olivia Williams) and her husband Alec (Matthew Modine) perform the bulk of the work. They have an asthmatic daughter Penny (Antonia Clarke) and a son (Adam Thomas Wright) who is underdeveloped plot wise. While they are restoring they discover the proverbial secret room and this one has floor art, which is apparently an altar whose function is unknown. At this point strange things seem to happen as Alec punctured his finger and his blood fell to the floor in that room, "Hell Raiser" memory flash as it gets sucked up. The events build up slow as we discover what happens in that house. This is a run of the mill ghost story. Nothing really new, but it was done well. Guide: F-bomb, implied forced sex. Olivia Williams brief nudity (?) Statue nude being fondled.

Reviewed by Nigel P 7 / 10 / 10

Spoilers follow ...

Mum, Dad and two daughters arrive in a car, looking over bleak and blasted moorlands at a gloomy Yorkshire mansion. Mum Meg (Olivia Williams) has been hired to renovate the premises; when she promises they'll have fun there in their new temporary home, the faces on her family say it all. Grizzled dad, artist Alec (Matthew Nodine) is possibly more enthused about the place than anyone; he feels he will accomplish great art there. The two children achieve a rare and wonderful thing. Troubled and anxious not to be there, they are terrifically convincing and utterly unspoiled. By that, I mean the precocious nature of youngsters in films is entirely absent. Antonia Clarke and Adam Thomas Wright are excellent as Penny and Harper Hamilton: funny, natural, engaging and likable – subsequently we care when they find themselves in jeopardy. And as this is a solid haunted house mystery, they do, with increasing intensity. The narrative begins well, bringing forth measured, intriguing scares more than hugely spectacular jump moments. The atmosphere is what is most successfully conveyed – the setting is truly barren, the house is a huge, empty, neglected shell in the midst of some gloriously bleak countryside. It looks truly breath-taking and writer/Director Nick Willing takes full advantage of that. As it progresses, the story becomes more than a little confusing. Two characters enter the proceedings who are there to explain things a little – first, creepy Charles Kendrick Walker (Stephen Chance) whose origins are enjoyably disconcerting; and secondly, ghost hunter Nigel Lean (Steve Oram), whose appearance is little more than a cameo. I'm quite fond of stories that don't answer all the questions, as the uncertainty that places in the mind of the viewer can be perturbing and add to the overall effect. Yet a bit more clarity would have been welcome here, especially in the closing moments. Other than that, this is a well-made, solid ghost story and well worth your time.

Reviewed by redrobin62-321-207311 7 / 10 / 10

Should be a 7, not 5.6

Okay, what this movie is not - The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, Carrie or The Shining. Does it have elements of those classic films? In spades. I'm guessing the shortcoming here was the budget. It could've benefited from more special effects, but it is what it is - a ghost story. I feel bad for the movie because there's nothing original in it. You've seen everything in it before. As a matter of fact, some of the scenes were so carbon-copy The Shining that Kubrick must be rolling in his grave. I gave the film a 7 because, seeing it, I didn't feel it was a waste of time. It was a relatively solid possession/ghost story movie, and it definitely reminded me of the fare being exported from South Korea; still, it wasn't a total time waster. Would I watch it again? Not really. For whatever it was, it was decently made. I'm not complaining.

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