Movie Review: The Charnel House (2016)

Synopsis: More than 30 years after it was closed down because of a series of murders committed by its owner, developer Alex Reaves and his wife, Charlotte, purchase a former slaughterhouse and convert it into a high-tech apartment building. However, shortly after the new tenants move in, the spirit of the previous owner's son begins to terrorize them.

Who's in it? The movie stars Callum Blue, Nadine Velazquez, Makenzie Moss, Erik LaRay Harvey and Danielle Lauder.

Review: My wife and I were looking for a movie to watch on Netflix and, after finding very little that looked interesting, settled on this film.

From the description, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. It looked like it had potential. But, at the same time, it also sounded like something that had been done before. And, because of that, I knew it had the potential to be a terrible film. As it turns out, it was slightly better than expected but still not anything I would describe as memorable.

The one thing I thought this movie had going for it was the setting. Slaughterhouses can be creepy places, even when they aren't haunted. Unfortunately, the film never fully capitalized on this, choosing to show very little of what the original building looked like. Since the film only shows the final, modernized apartment building, there was nothing that really set this particular building apart from any other haunted building. The only exception to this was probably the basement, which had a little more of a slaughterhouse feel to it. But, the film only shows that in glimpses.

In fact, I'm not even sure why the filmmakers decided to go with a slaughterhouse theme in the first place. There, ultimately, was nothing about the building's previous use that added to the overall scare factor in this film and, quite honestly, when the building's history was shown (via videos), I thought I was watching an anti-meat commercial rather than a horror film.

The movie did, admittedly, have some intense moments toward the end, when Alex (Blue) ultimately snapped. But, considering it's something that has been done in movies like The Shining, The Amityville Horror and dozens of low-budget rip-offs, I wouldn't describe it as being unique or memorable.

Also not helping this film was the fact it was very predictable. Once we learned the boy in the building (Alden Tab) wasn't a ghost and was actually connected to a living person, it wasn't too difficult to figure out what was going to happen next. Plus, my wife and I both predicted the "surprise twist" ending long before the movie was over. In fact, we were so spot on, we probably could have written it.

Final Opinion: The movie may have been better had it done a better job of portraying the slaughterhouse but, even then, I don't think it would have been anything memorable.

My Grade: C


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