MOVIE DUN­GEON

Kim on the lat­est DTV must-sees

Empire (UK) - - REVIEW -

Ro­drigo Cortés’ DOWN A DARK HALL mixes the eeri­ness of Span­ish hor­ror, with an em­pha­sis on whis­pery sound de­sign and old, dark house art di­rec­tion, with the teen soap of US Young Adult writ­ing, as An­nasophia Robb falls un­der the spell of diva head­mistress Uma Thur­man at a school for trou­bled girls. It’s sat­is­fy­ingly creepy, with an old-fash­ioned burn-the-house-down cli­max, and a pre­dom­i­nantly Bri­tish sup­port­ing cast in­cludes Re­becca Front in a change-of-pace role as a scowl­ing thug house­keeper.

James Crow’s all-bri­tish HOUSE OF SALEM also has in­no­cents en­snared in a su­per­nat­u­ral mys­tery. A gang of kid­nap­pers — some nasty, some sym­pa­thetic — hole up in an­other old, dark man­sion with their slightly psy­chic child vic­tim. Robed cultists be­siege the place, prompt­ing con­flict among the wrong-do­ers, as re­luc­tant gang-mem­ber Nancy (Jes­sica Arter­ton) de­fies her nasty step­fa­ther (Les Mills) to pro­tect the kid. It has a nice 1970s Ham­mer House Of Hor­ror feel.

THE LAST SHARKNADO adds time travel to the mix. Want to see Ben­jamin Franklin fly his kite in a sharknado? Billy The Kid eaten by a shark? Yes, of course you do — but in a bet­ter movie, please. The bad news is that the clumsy, awk­ward 5-HEADED SHARK AT­TACK and the sim­ply dull MEGALODON in­stantly take up the shit shark-movie slack. The fleet­ing plea­sure of lines like, “Too bad we didn’t bring a pod of trained dol­phins with us,” doesn’t make up for blood-frothed oceans of te­dium and CG sharks not up to the stan­dard of 1986 com­puter-game graph­ics. 6-Headed Shark At­tack is al­ready in the can, so there’s no end in sight.

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