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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Attic
The Attic
Allumination Filmworks // R // January 15, 2008
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Justin Felix | posted January 20, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

ATTENTION! THE ATTIC IS DIRECTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF PET SEMATARY!

In case you forget this, a "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PET SEMATARY" line appears underneath the title on the front DVD cover art and in big creepy tombstone font on the back DVD cover art, and the film's trailer, available as a extra, proclaims the fact. I wasn't aware that the first PET SEMATARY has that much of a loyal following, but maybe I'm missing something. While Mary Lambert has done a fair amount of horror in her career, films like the recent Urban Legends: Bloody Mary and this half-baked haunted flick The Attic sure aren't going to place her in the pantheon of horror director giants like Val Lewton or Wes Craven.

In The Attic, college student Emma, played appealingly (for the first half of the film before her character devolves into complete histrionics) by Elisabeth Moss, sees visions of a spectral version of herself while staying in her family's new large home. She has a hard time leaving the house out of fear because of these visions. Her parents and her mentally handicapped brother, all painfully overacted (especially the brother), also reside in the house, and her over reactive father seems to be hiding some kind of secret from her. A cute James Dean-looking cop takes an interest in her and her visions and investigates, and a not-so-cute therapist has sessions with her.

Is Emma haunted by her long-dead sister? Is Emma crazy?

The Attic is fairly transparent and you'll figure out the answers long before the heroine does.

That's about the movie in a nutshell.

The Attic is, at times, reminiscent of the look and feel of the old gothic romance paperbacks and comic books from the 1960s and 1970s, replete with a young and pretty woman in a flowing nightgown, a ghostly apparition, and a large old house containing dark secrets. For this reason, I found the movie watchable, if only for the fact that I haven't seen an attempt at this type of storytelling in a while on film (and would like to see more of this ilk). I wanted to like the movie. Unfortunately, everything seems limited by a clearly low budget, and in general, the acting is really, really bad. If you're a horror hound interested in something low-budget that isn't a gore-a-thon, I'd rent it. If you're not a horror hound, then definitely skip it.

The DVD

Video:

The DVD is presented in an anamorphic 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The image, while by no means perfect, is serviceable, and for a movie as house-bound and low budget as this, you won't care much about its visual acuity.

Sound:

The film has a single audio track: Dolby Digital 2.0. I turned the volume up louder than I normally do for a DVD, but it wasn't a problem afterward as this is a dialogue-driven film with little range.

Spanish subtitles are offered.

Extras:

An "Also Available From Allumination" gallery gives the option to watch trailers for The Other Side, The Unknown Trilogy, Hack!, and Night Junkies. Separately, the trailer for The Attic can be played from the main menu. Otherwise, there are no extras on this disc.

Final Thoughts:

The late-night horror movie fan in me sort of liked The Attic's routine, young woman haunted storyline. The film's ultra-cheap production values and lousy acting, however, keep me from recommending it to anyone other than die-hard horror hounds or people interested in riffing a flick Mystery Science Theater 3000-style.

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