This is one of those movies which has a self-reviewing synopsis:
"Teenager Madison McBride is traumatized by the loss of her deranged
father when she was nine years old and the suicide of her beloved brother
Brandon one year ago. She decides to attend Richard Miller University,
where Brandon committed suicide, to overcome her demons. While walking to
her dorm, she meets the weird janitor Wilbur Mackey that tells her that
the place is haunted. Madison befriends other freshmen: the recovering
drug addicted Holt; the geek outcast String; the sexually abused Ivy and
Maya; and the joker athlete Tommy. All the schoolmates have childhood
String discovers on the internet that their dorm, together with an
attached abandoned section, was once an asylum for troubled teens
administered by Dr. Magnus Burke and was considered a safe refuge with
state-of-art treatment. In 1939, the interns revolted against the insane
doctor, killing him and disclosing the truth about his sadistic treatment. The students soon find that their dorm is haunted by Dr. Burke, who is
seeking tortured souls."
So what do you think? Is this a film made by a superb craftsman who
loves the art of cinema, and is bringing his heart to the project, or is
it a quickie pasted together from hackneyed ideas in the hope of making a
I'm thinking you already know the answer.
You know how sometimes you forget that you've seen a particularly
unimpressive movie, so you actually get a few minutes into the movie
before it dawns on
you that you've seen it already? Well I had that experience with this film, except that instead of
realizing that I had seen it once before, I realized that I had seen it a
hundred times before, except with a different cast. I suppose there's
nothing wrong with that. Some theatergoers returned to Phantom of the Opera
every time the cast changed, just to see how the new team ran the plays.
If you're one of those who has to go back to a Broadway play every time
the producers come up with some new gimmick like an all-black or all-male
or all-TV-star or all-circus-clown cast, then this may be your kind of
film experience. I doubt it, though. People only go back to see revivals
of plays they consider great or important or beloved. Nobody is clamoring
for a remake of Gigli with an all-dwarf cast, which is the rough
equivalent of what this movie does.
The film has not a single new idea, not a single original or
interesting character, not one good line of dialogue. Even the title is
trite. It's so inept that
there is a character in the film (the "joker athlete") whose character
development as "a joker" consists entirely of him claiming to be one. He
never says anything to make the audience laugh. That alone would be bad enough,
but the audience might at least get a hint of where he's coming from if he
said something to make the other characters laugh. Not a chance of that
either! I had no idea he was supposed to be funny until he was explaining
why he became the class clown.
Here's the ultimate demonstration that the filmmakers just didn't give
Two characters escape the asylum through a tunnel which has been
abandoned for decades, and is blocked on both ends by rusted-out grates.
Inside the tunnel there are two light bulbs.
They are both burning.
I guess I could go on, but since the people who made this film didn't
give a fig, why should we?