Sunday, 17 January 2016
DVD Review: The House On Pine Street
Partly funded by a Kickstarter campaign, "The House On Pine Street" is a joint directorial effort from Aaron and Austin Keeling, concerning a most undesirable residence in Kansas.
Luke and Jennifer (Taylor Bottles, Emily Goss) have moved from Chicago to prepare for a life-changing experience.
Jennifer is seven months pregnant, and her partner sees their new home as a perfect environment to begin to raise a child.
Jennifer, however, feels ill at ease there, right from the word go.
A house-warming party - organised by her overbearing mother Meredith (Cathy Barnett) - has much the same effect on psychic chiropractor Walter (Jim Korinke) who notes the house has "an unusual energy".
Knocks on the door with no-one in evidence; the lid of a cooker moving unattended and sundry unexplained occurrences heighten Jennifer's nervous state, though it's the presence of someone/something behind her in the shower that really ups the ante: especially when her husband walks in a moment later.
Is this the truth, or has he sensed something too powerful, too malevolent, to deal with?
As the disturbing events escalate, Jennifer's fragile mental state deteriorates further, causing Luke to question her sanity. Are the fears of impending motherhood edging her towards a breakdown?
Is Luke having an affair with Meredith, with the scheming pair feeding her hallucinatory drugs in an effort to push her over the edge? Or, is the house really haunted?
The Keelings have certainly used their funds so very well here, creating a most unsettling atmosphere, with shadowy figures, disconcerting sounds and a genuine sense of dread that hangs heavy in the air.
While the film does sometimes wear its influences on its sleeve - "The Haunting", "Rosemary's Baby" and "Amityville" spring to mind - a strong identity of its own and subtle use of scare tactics should see its already solid reputation grow.
A fine central performance by Emily Goss; fluid cinematography from Juan Sebastian Baron and a suitably eerie score from Nathan Matthew David and Jeremy Lamb add much to a film that offers replay value on DVD.
"There's always an explanation" declares our luckless paranormal investigator. You'll have to wait until the bitter end to see if the Keelings offer one and it's an entertaining, gripping ride for sure.
"The House On Pine Street" will be released in the UK by Second Sight on 1st February 2016.