Movie Review: Dementia 13 (2017)

Synopsis: Louise murders her wealthy but abusive husband, John Haloran and disposes of his body in a lake as part of a plan to steal his family's fortune during an annual memorial for his deceased sister, Kathleen. However, her plan faces obstacles from both a masked axe-carrying killer and Kathleen's ghost.

Who's in it? The movie stars Julia Campanelli, Channing Pickett, Marianne Noscheze, Ana Isabelle and Christian Ryan.

Review: I watched the 1963 original roughly a year ago and ended up enjoying that Francis Ford Coppola film so much, I was interested in seeing the remake. I finally got around to doing that tonight and enjoyed it more than expected.

While I would hesitate to say it was the better of the two films, I did think the modern special effects, especially when it came to Kathleen's ghost, added a little something extra to this version. There were some surprisingly creepy scenes in this movie, ranging from the shadow hand that quietly appears to those dolls in Kathleen's room.

Much like the original, there is a lot that happens in this movie and that does manage to keep things interesting from start to finish. Basically, there doesn't seem to be a single "good" person in the film. The mom (Campenelli) talks to dead people and seems to hate her living daughters while the sisters (Pickett and Noscheze) seem to have their own dark secrets. Even the secondary characters, like the groundskeeper, Arthur (Roland Sands), didn't seem particularly trustworthy. This in turn made the seemingly obvious killer not as obvious (I correctly guessed it, but also ended up hedging my bet midway through the movie).

The part with Louise's (Isabelle) accomplices (Donal Brophy and Leif Steinert) toward the end added an additional element of unpredictability to the movie. I'm still a little fuzzy on what Louise's plan was and how her accomplices planned to carry it out without her, but them bringing guns and itchy trigger fingers to an already tense situation made the movie all that much more interesting.

My only real complaint about the movie, other than maybe getting a better explanation of what Louise planned to do, is the ending. It wasn't a horrible way to end the film, but it felt a bit incomplete, and I wasn't convinced it did the movie justice. I personally would have probably done some sort of "one year later" ending instead, just to provide a little more closure.

Final Opinion: Again, I won't say it was the better version, especially since the original was directed by a legend. However, I do think the better special effects helped this movie achieve the proper amount of creepiness and I will go out on a limb and say it was roughly as good as the 1963 version.

My Grade: A


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