Home Is Where the Horror Is
Children make such sympathetic characters in horror movies. For example, remember The Others? Thatís one of three reasons Iím so disappointed with The Remains. The other two? Possession by a demon or demons and a haunted house also rank high on my horror flick trigger list. With all of these situations present in this film, I should have been on the edge of my seat while watching it. But instead, I had to fight off dozing off. What went wrong? Perhaps by watching Stranger Things -- Netflixís terrific horror offering that focuses on youngsters -- right before viewing The Remains, I might have set the bar too high.
Victorian house. Lots of room.
Be careful that itís not your doom!
A father and three kids in tow
move quickly in. What do they know?
Nothing spooky is in their minds,
but wait until a chest one finds.
Itís filled with items from the past.
And with each thing, evil is cast.
The children soon become possessed.
Their father doesnít know whatís best.
So are we scared? No, not a bit.
More horror needed for a hit.
The Remains trusts that some loud sound
and noisy music played all round
will overcome the lack of scares.
But horror cries for lots more dares.
Itís very important to feel like everything is really happening in a horror movie. Unfortunately, I didnít get that feeling from The Remains. No hairs stood up on the back of my neck; I didnít want to cover my eyes; and I had very little curiosity about what would happen next, mostly because so many things seemed predictable. Also, the demons or ghosts should be more frightening. Plus, those frequent loud noises and that overpowering background music come across as distracting -- not scary.
On a positive note, the young actors (Hannah Nordberg, Dash Williams, Brooke Butler) are not at fault. Itís the material that fails them. And Todd Lowe, who plays the father here, does a fine job with his role. He looks and acts every bit an ordinary guy caught in a horrifying situation.
Should youngsters watch The Remains? Only as a disciplinary action.
There are horrors beyond lifeís edge that we do not suspect. And once in a while man's evil prying calls them just within range. --- H. P. Lovecraft
(Released by Vertical Entertainment; not rated by MPAA.)
For more information about this film, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.