I demand that you keep this establishment open because of my wife’s Titanic sense of entitlement!
For those wondering, the film is known by two different names, for the purposes of the review I’m going to refer to it as “The Hoarder”.
So it’s October, the month of all-Hallows eve, more commonly known as Halloween, and to celebrate I have decided to challenge myself by posting at least 31 reviews of horror films during this month, one for each day. Just a caveat on that, I’m not guaranteeing a new one will appear each day as there are some days where my schedule outside of reviewing films is already full, and I’m going to struggle to find the time. However, by the end of October I intend to have written 31 reviews on horror films, as well as a few others.
So to start off I’m going to review the horror film “The Hoarder”, starring Robert Knepper, he of Prison Break fame. Knepper was excellent as the creepy T-Bag in that film and I can only assume that he is playing the antagonist in this film as I don’t think he suits protagonists at all.
Oh well, let the 31 horror films begin…..
Ella (Barton) is positive that her boyfriend is cheating behind her back and decides to prove it by going into his storage unit with Molly (Emily Atack). The storage box is located on the bottom floor of the building and when down there, Molly is attacked by a creature of some variety and she flees in terror. The creature follows her up the escalator shaft, forcing her to get out before the ground floor.
There she encounters Vince (Knepper), a cop, and hipster Willow (Kane). Ella struggles in vain to convince them about what has happened, and all of the other people that they encounter on their mission to find a way out of the storage unit also find it a bit far fetched. As time goes on people slowing start disappearing, increasing the paranoia.
Willow believes that she knows a way out, but Vince wants to get something first and it’s revealed that he has a bag full of money. He separates himself from the group but it isn’t long before he is taken care of. As the night progresses and more of the group are killed off, Ella marks a shocking discovering about not only the creature, but also the storage facility itself.
Doesn’t sound too bad….
You know what, it’s not actually an awful film by many stretches of the imagination. It’s a relatively unique story that borrows from certain other horror films, and the extensive use of cliches doesn’t seem frustrating for some reason, but I’m going to start this review by talking about the main character of Ella.
Ella is quite frankly an awful main character as she has zero likability whatsoever, you actually want her to die and that is definitely not a good thing in this situation. She begs Vince to save her from the monster, he subsequently does and she responds by effectively accusing him of being a rapist. No thank you, not appreciation, nothing at all. She continues like this throughout the entire movie and without giving away what the ending is, quite frankly what she does right at the end of the film makes her one of the stupidest (and I mean intelligence wise) characters in film that I have ever seen. Not just horror films, just films in general!
The performance by Barton is awful. She gives a performance that could best be summed up by the term “dead eyes”, there’s just nothing there emotionally. She is just completely disconnected from the material and she never once makes the character look genuinely terrified. It’s almost like she went to the Kirsten Stewart school of acting. The lights are on but there’s no-one home sums it up.
I also briefly touched on earlier about the use of cliches in the movie and there are plenty of them and they never seemingly stop, it’s just cliche after cliche, but in many ways they aren’t an annoyance. Just to give you an idea of the cliches that they use…..
- Stoner kid working a job that he doesn’t give two shits about
- A cop who turns out to be crooked
- A man who can’t stand the sight of his ex-wife, only to then practically be in love with her when he finds her still alive
- Doors not shutting when the character being pursued is in a rush
- Electricity constantly failing
- Having to press the button for an elevator numerous times whilst being chased and it only working at the last second
The list could go on, and yet somehow the cliches don’t annoy me as much as ol’ dead eyes back there. Infact, the cliches don’t even really bother me at all. I think if the film it as least minorly entertaining then I am prepared to give it a very extensive benefit of the doubt with regards to cliches.
In terms of suspense, there isn’t really a lot going on there either. Characters are killed off with no time to build them properly, but the ending sort of works and again, without revealing what the situation is and spoiling it, the final 20 or so minutes do feel more worth while than if it was just a creature movie, so that made a bit of a nice change.
I also like that they tried to incorporate a new setting into a horror film as I can’t recall any other horror films, or any other film in general, being based within a storage facility. I could easily be wrong and no doubt if I am I will told about it, but I can’t think of any others off of the top of my head which are based solely within this environment.
It’s definitely one of those films that despite being relatively watchable, has quite a few problems with it.
A horror film that whilst somewhat predictable, is still enjoyable to an extent. If you can ignore the horrible main character then I think that there is a very good chance you might like this, but therein is exactly why I am not going to give this the approval stamp.
No horror film should drive you to actually want the main character to die. You should want them to survive but she actually gives you precisely fuck all reason to want her to survive. In terms of a main character, she is one of the worst I’ve seen in a while, not that Mischa Barton’s dead eye’s acting helped in the situation.
There are far, far worse horror films around, but there are also far better ones available as well.